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New Orleans tax preparer sentenced to four years of probation for filing false IRS return

NEW ORLEANS – Danielle Franklin, age 29, and a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon to four years of probation for assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

As charged in the indictment, Franklin prepared a false tax return in 2014 for a client of Cutting Edge Income Tax, located on Airline Drive in Metairie, Louisiana. As part of the scheme, Franklin allegedly falsified the return by including fraudulent business losses when in fact the customer had zero losses and expenses. In the Factual Basis that supported the guilty plea, Franklin also admitted to other relevant conduct, which included preparing at least thirty-one (31) false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040 for her customers from 2013 through 2016. These fraudulent tax filings caused a tax loss to the United States in the amount of $215,296.43. In addition, Franklin’s 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 U.S. Individual/Joint Tax Returns, which were prepared and signed by defendant and filed with the IRS, claimed reported inflated withholdings and/or false estimated tax payments.  These material misstatements caused an additional tax loss to the United States in the amount of $14,277.00.

In addition to probation, Franklin was also ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $229,573.00.

U.S. Attorney Evans commended the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation for their handling of the matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. Rivera.