Date: October 14, 2022 Contact: email@example.com MIAMI — Today, a federal district judge in Miami sentenced three tax preparers—Nixon Cyrius Cherfils, Kerline Pierre, and Jonas Augustin for conspiracy to file false tax returns. Cherfils, the leader of this conspiracy and owner of the tax preparation business, Cherfils Enterprises, was sentenced to a prison term of 48 months. Pierre was sentenced to 28 months in prison and Augustin was sentenced to 8 months in prison and 9 months of house arrest. For several years, the defendants included false education credits on the vast majority of their unwitting customers' tax returns, thereby increasing the tax refunds or reducing the tax liability of their customers in an effort to grow the business and their profits or compensation. Cherfils was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of nearly $3.5 million. Pierre and Augustin were ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $351,196 and 330,579, respectively. Cherfils and Pierre also were convicted of wire fraud for applying for and fraudulently obtaining several loans under the CARES Act, the law passed by Congress to help small businesses weather the economic hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cherfils and Pierre submitted falsified tax returns and false information in support of their loan applications even though they had not filed tax returns during the relevant years. The Court ordered Cherfils and Pierre to pay restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration in the amount of $380,232 and $319,952 respectively. Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced the sentences. IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aimee C. Jimenez. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Paster handled asset forfeiture.