Owner of Jacksonville tax preparation business sentenced to federal prison for tax fraud

 

Date: June 2, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Jacksonville, FL — U.S. District Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Kenyan Shondre Scott to 18 months in federal prison for aiding and assisting others with the filing of fraudulent tax returns and for filing fraudulent tax returns on his own behalf. Scott was also ordered to pay restitution to the United States for a tax loss of $553,403. He had pleaded guilty on February 24, 2021.

According to court documents and facts presented at his sentencing hearing, Scott was the owner and operator of a Jacksonville tax return preparation business, which he had opened in 2009. Between February 2014 and April 2018, Scott prepared and filed tax returns for others in which he falsely claimed, among other things, that the taxpayers had owned businesses and had incurred deductible business expenses, were entitled to general business tax credits and educational tax credits, and had incurred deductible unreimbursed employee expenses. These representations were false and substantially increased the clients' tax refunds.

On his own tax returns, Scott significantly underreported the income he had earned from his tax preparation business as shown in the following chart:

Tax Year Reported Adjusted Gross Income Tax Refund Claimed Approximate True Adjusted Gross Income Approximate Taxes Owed on True AGI
2013 $43,691 $51 $97,846 $36,928
2014 $39,552 $50 $279,898 $108,033
2015 $37,943 $49 $151,216 $57,230
2016 $28,072 $44 $193,898 $72,681

"We want everyone who files a tax return to take advantage of the deductions and credits to which they are entitled by law; however, no one is entitled to defraud the government," said Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne of IRS Criminal Investigation. "Today's sentencing of Kenyan Scott demonstrates that protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take very seriously. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to vigorously pursue those who unjustly line their own pockets by preparing false claims for refunds for themselves and others."

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.