Preparer gets year in prison in false tax return case

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A Wilmington-area woman was sentenced  in federal court  to a year and a  day in prison for preparing false tax returns.

According to court documents, Rose M. Lyons, 53,  prepared at least 95 false tax returns for herself and 41 clients.

 For 32 of the clients, Lyons diverted a portion of their tax refund into her own private bank account.  When her clients asked for copies of their tax documents, Lyons doctored those documents in order to conceal the fact that she diverted funds, the documents indicated. 

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U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Criminal conduct that deceives the Internal Revenue Service is conduct that also deceives all American taxpayers.  Today’s sentence should serve as a deterrent to would-be tax cheats that defrauding the public will not be tolerated.”

“Tax return preparers have a duty to their clients to prepare tax returns that comply with the law and are accurate,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “Rose Lyons ignored this duty, and instead chose to defraud the government, the tax-paying public, and her own clients. It is our hope that this sentence sends a strong message that tampering with the integrity of our nation’s tax system will result in jail time.”

The sentence was announced by David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews sentenced Lyons.

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