This week, a woman from Hammond, Louisiana was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to a single count Bill of Information charging her with aiding and abetting in the preparation of false tax returns. 35-year-old Rojonah Harris was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and one year of supervised release. The defendant has also been ordered to pay $1,115,578 in restitution.
Court documents show that in 2012 Harris opened and operated a tax preparation business in Hammond. An investigation revealed that Harris frequently claimed false deductions and false federal tax withholdings for her clients at Harris Finance and Tax Service. As a result, the returns generated higher refunds than the clients were not entitled to.
Harris often created false W-2s for her clients that misstated the amount of income the client had earned. The defendant also knowingly overstated federal income tax on W-2s. Harris fraudulently included false wages in the form of household help or HSH income, despite the client not being entitled. She also claimed that some of her customers qualified for educational expenses when they did not.
Harris charged substantial tax preparation fees. In total, she earned at least $582,090 in preparation fees for tax years 2011 through 2013. It was concluded that Harris had filed at least 267 false returns for tax years 2011 to 2014. The ultimately admitted that her actions caused a total tax loss of $1,115,578. Again, Rojonah Harris has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and one year of supervised release.
Additional details are available here.