Tax preparer learns punishment for filing fake tax returns

By Nikki Henderson |

Published 01/31 2014 03:18PM

Updated 01/31 2014 03:22PM

A Natchitoches woman will spend more than a year behind bars for preparing false tax returns.

On Friday US Attorney Stephanie Finley announced that Lashanda Harris, 38, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a year of supervised release.

Harris was also ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution.  Harris pleaded guilty Oct. 29, 2013.

From Jan. 2012 to April 2012, Harris, a tax preparer in Natchitoches, assisted customers in preparing fake tax returns for 2011.
The returns contained false information concerning W-2, federal tax withholdings, Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Based on the false statements in the tax returns, individuals were able to obtain in excess of $100,000 in fraudulent tax refunds. As part of the scheme Harris received "kickbacks" from the customers.

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