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Houston tax return preparer sent to prison for fraudulent refund scheme

HOUSTON — A man responsible for preparing tax returns has been sentenced to serve 12 months in a federal prison after he was convicted of intentionally aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false income tax return, according to the Department of Justice.

On Tuesday, a federal judged handed Yomi Michael John a sentence of one year and a day in prison followed by one year of supervised release. The suspect was also ordered to pay $212,853 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

John pled guilty to the charges against him in May  2017.

“John’s sentencing today will punish him for cheating the government and defrauding his clients and the tax-paying public,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ramsey Covington of IRS-Criminal Investigation. “IRS special agents will continue to enforce the nation’s tax laws while protecting our tax system from personal greed.”

According to court records, John was in the business of preparing income tax returns and operated that business under “Postal Tax Services” on Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston during calendar years 2010 through 2012. John admitted he willfully added numerous false deductions, credits and business losses to 61 client income tax returns without their knowledge in order to inflate refunds by approximately $214,413.

According to the plea agreement, John’s motive was to build and maintain a reputation for getting large refunds to increase his client base, which would generate more fees.

John was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Houston office of IRS – CI conducted the investigation.