December 3, 2022

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Tax preparer sentenced for fraudulently inflating tax returns

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HOUSTON – A former local tax preparer has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2017, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

David Wright pleaded guilty June 3. 

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced him to 36 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. Wright was further ordered to pay $178,688 in restitution to the IRS. At the hearing, the court heard additional argument regarding how Wright profiting from several years of fraudulently filing tax returns. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the nature of the offense, the fact that Wright employed others to participate in the fraudulent activity and that these fraudulent filings were done without the knowledge of the taxpayer clients. 

The investigation revealed Wright and his employees prepared and submitted 43 fraudulent tax returns for 16 clients. They consistently used false Schedule C Business Income or Loss deductions to inflate tax refunds for clients.

They included fake expenses such as advertising, vehicle/transportation, legal/professional services, office/business property costs, maintenance, supplies, travel and utilities. This caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax loss to the IRS.

Wright was taken into custody and will be transferred to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zahra Jivani Fenelon prosecuted the case.

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