A federal judge Tuesday sentenced a Durham tax return preparer to 20 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of phony tax returns.
Prosecutors say that from 2012 through 2014, Laurean S. Robinson, 31, was working as an office manager and return preparer at Tax Breaks, a tax preparation service in Durham
U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the state's Middle District announced in a news release that Robinson admitted she prepared false returns for her clients that fraudulently claimed the earned income tax credit and sought inflated refunds.
To qualify her clients for the earned income tax credit, Robinson reported that they earned income providing household services, such as babysitting and care taking.
Prosecutors say Robinson trained other employees at Tax Breaks to prepare false returns in a similar fashion.
In addition to the fees charged by Tax Breaks, Robinson often required her clients to pay her an additional fee in cash.
Prosecutors say Robinson’s conduct caused a tax loss of approximately $600,737.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder ordered Robinson to pay $120,980 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Internal Revenue Service.