Date: July 26, 2022 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has sentenced Christel Joseph to 30 months in federal prison for preparing false and fraudulent tax returns. Joseph had pleaded guilty on February 16, 2022. According to court documents, Christel Joseph and her husband, Naeem Joseph, were involved in a conspiracy to prepare false tax returns by claiming fraudulent refunds and credits to which their taxpayer-clients were not entitled, including education tax credits, fuel tax credits, and dependent care credits. Between 2015 and 2016, the Josephs helped prepare and file fraudulent tax returns from Haines City, Florida and Roanoke, Virginia. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service issued more than $230,000 in fraudulent tax refunds. On July 8, 2022, U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell sentenced Naeem Joseph to 21 months' imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy. "Christel Joseph and her husband Naeem Joseph fraudulently charged their clients and loaded up their returns with tax credits, getting them bigger refunds than they deserved," said Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office. "Taxpayers who elect to pay a preparer should always do their due diligence beforehand to ensure they're not victims of tax fraudsters like the Josephs. More information on selecting a reputable tax professional is available on IRS.gov." This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, Roanoke, Virginia. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.