Durham tax return preparer convicted of tax evasion in third lifetime conviction

Chronic tax violator Garcia Howard of Durham was sentenced this week in Wake County to imprisonment between 18 months and 22 months for his latest transgression: tax evasion.

Howard, 62, pleaded guilty Thursday in Wake County District Court to three counts of tax evasion after the N.C. Department of Revenue had charged that Howard understated his income as a tax preparer from 2007 through 2010.

District Court Judge Jennifer Knox ordered Howard to pay restitution of $56,013.79 and barred Howard from preparing anyone’s tax returns except his own.

The N.C. Department of Revenue also said that Howard was convicted in 2001 of five counts of aiding the preparation of fraudulent tax returns while operating Howard Financial Services. He was previously convicted in 1998 of 15 counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns.