Two Louisiana Return Preparers Plead Guilty To Tax Fraud Conspiracy
WASHINGTON (STL.News) Two Louisiana tax preparers pleaded guilty on February 10, 2021 to conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from January through April 2015, Morgan Antoine and Jennifer Austin conspired to file false tax returns for clients of Pelicans Income Tax and Payroll Service, a tax preparation business located in Kenner and Westwego, Louisiana. Antoine and Austin prepared client returns reporting false income and withholdings in order to generate larger tax refunds. In addition to preparing false returns for her clients, Antoine also filed a fraudulent personal return that claimed a false dependent. In total, Antoine and Austin caused a tax loss of more than $550,000.
U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance scheduled sentencing for May 26, 2021. At sentencing, Antoine and Austin each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Antoine and Austin also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.