Louisiana tax preparers plead guilty to tax fraud

The pair owed tax authorities a combined $550,000

Two Louisiana tax preparers have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States through tax fraud conspiracy.

Morgan Antoine and Jennifer Austin were found to have filed false tax returns for the clients of Pelicans Income Tax and Payroll Service, a tax preparation business situated in Kenner and Westwego.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the pair prepared client returns reporting “false income and withholdings” to generate increased tax refunds between January and April 2015.

Antoine also filed fraudulent personal returns that claimed a false dependent, contributing to the duo owing over $550,000 to the tax authorities.

Scheduled for sentencing by Sarah Vance, US district judge, on 26 May 2021, Antoine and Austin face a maximum sentence of five years each in prison.

Moreover, the pair could be subject to a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

The investigation was conducted by Stuart Goldberg, acting deputy assistant attorney at the Justice Department’s tax division, and Peter Strasser, US attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

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