An Essex County tax preparer who had previously pled guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison, according to officials with the Internal Revenue Service.
U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano found Jean Desrosiers, 56, guilty of willfully preparing false tax returns for clients.
Pisano also ordered Desrosiers to serve 1 year of supervised release, pay a $5,000 fine, and $168,424 in restitution to the IRS.
“With this year’s tax filing season just around the corner, today’s sentencing of Mr. Desrosiers is a good reminder that taxpayers should be careful when choosing a tax preparer,” said Shantelle P. Kitchen, of the IRS Criminal Investigation Newark Field Office. “While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few dishonest tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns to defraud the government, the taxpaying public and their own clients.”
As previously reported, Desrosier was the sole owner of Jean Multiple Services, a tax preparation company that over time has operated at various Essex County locations, including West Orange, Newark and Maplewood.
The IRS found that between the tax years 2007 through 2011, Desrosiers prepared fraudulent tax returns for some of his clients by fabricating and inflating itemized deductions on their returns in order to obtain bigger tax refunds.
The federal agency also found that in some cases, Desrosiers gave clients one version of a fake tax return calling for a certain refund from the government and then filed a different version.
All told, the IRS Criminal Investigation unit said Desrosiers cost the government approximately $168,424 in lost taxes.