Tampa man pleads guilty to aiding in filing of false tax returns


Date: October 21, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Tampa, FL — United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Thomas Johnson has pleaded guilty to one count of aiding in the filing of false tax returns. Johnson faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 Johnson worked as a tax preparer for a tax preparation business at its office location in Seffner. In order to maximize the refunds that the IRS would have to pay his clients, Johnson prepared fraudulent Forms 1040 which falsely reported fictitious amounts for educational expenses on behalf of his clients. Many other tax returns that he prepared for clients contained fictitious information as to the Schedule C portion of the returns reflecting profit/loss from the operation of businesses. The inclusion of those types of false items helped to fraudulently inflate the refunds that the taxpayers would receive.

The indictment charged Johnson with aiding in the filing of numerous such false tax returns. The tax loss attributable to the single false tax return to which he pleaded guilty is nearly $14,000. The tax loss for other tax returns that Johnson had a role in preparing, and which contained similar false statements, is approximately $188,940. Johnson also caused large tax losses from many other tax returns which contained false education credit entries.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.