A plea agreement was entered in a federal court this month. The language of the agreement listed the federal tax fraud charges that were weighed against a Missouri tax preparer, including five counts of preparing false income tax returns and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to the document, the woman prepared and submitted a total of 98 false income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service between the years 2007 and 2010. The 36 clients whose names were used said that they did not authorize such use. The actions resulted in a $316,000 tax loss.
In submitting this agreement, the woman pleaded guilty to the charges and the statements made in the document. By pleading guilty, the woman now faces the possibility of a 3-year prison term for each count of preparing a false return and a 5-year term for the identity theft charge. Each count also carries with it the possibility of a large fine.
In a St. Louis Federal Criminal Law Blog one would be amiss to fail to include a warning about plea agreements. The truth is that a lot of criminal cases are ended with a plea agreement, and are often even the best option for a defendant.
The warning does not lie over the general idea of plea agreements. The real danger lies with entering into one absent the advice of an experienced attorney. A prosecutor’s first priority is to get a conviction. A defense attorney’s first priority is the defendant and their rights and interests.
Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal, “Missouri tax preparer pleads guilty to tax fraud charges,” Sept. 16, 2013