Lawrence woman sentenced to prison for filing hundreds of false tax returns

Crime

FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 file photo shows part of a 1040 federal tax form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website. On Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s tax rate on a family making $75,000 dollars a year would go from 12% to 25%. A current federal tax rate of 12% applies to families making up to $80,000, or individuals making up to $40,000. That would still apply under Biden, who has vowed publicly not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. (Associated Press)

BOSTON (USDOJ) – A former employee of the IRS Service Center in Andover was sentenced Thursday for aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of over 400 false tax returns for herself and other individuals.

Jennifer Beth True, 44, of Lawrence, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to twelve months and one day in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $1,000. True was also ordered to pay $689 in restitution to victims who were charged interest and penalties based on the false returns she prepared for them, and $1,056,781 in restitution to the IRS. In September 2020, True pleaded guilty to four counts of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return and four counts of filing a fraudulent tax return by an employee of the United States.

True was employed by the Internal Revenue Service for over 22 years. In her position as a Lead Contact Representative, she assisted team members in responding to difficult and complex taxpayer inquiries. Throughout her employment, True was trained in tax law, ethics, information protection and disclosure, privacy, identity theft and identity protection.

True electronically filed over 500 tax returns for herself and other taxpayers between 2012 and 2018, in violation of IRS rules prohibiting employees from “[e]ngaging in the preparation of tax returns for compensation, gift, or favor.” True admitted that between approximately February 2012 and April 2018, she prepared or assisted in preparing and filing of at least 70 IRS Forms 1040 – U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns – for herself and other taxpayers that True knew contained false items such as false individual retirement account deductions, false medical expenses, false and inflated unreimbursed business expenses and/or false tax preparation fees. Some returns also included false child and dependent care credits. As a result of the false deductions claimed on the returns, the tax obligations of True and those individuals whose false returns she prepared was reduced.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; William Kalb, Special Agent in Charge of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, New York Field Office; and Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Mendell’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.

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