Date: November 29, 2022 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org HOUSTON — A tax preparer has admitted to willfully preparing a false joint 2017 individual income tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. As part of his plea, Fabrice Mahinga admitted that from 2016 to 2018, he operated Kennedy Tax Service located in Houston. He admitted that he often claimed fake Schedule C items, education and fuel tax credits on the returns he prepared. In 2019, he assisted with the preparation of a tax return that should have resulted in a tax owed of $42. Mahinga added to the return a false Schedule C and false credits that resulted in a false claim for an income tax refund of $4,257 from the IRS. A copy of the return reflected a false income tax refund of a lesser refund - $3,259 - when the refund claimed on the return filed with the IRS was $4,257. Mahinga took responsibility of $270,612 of loss to the IRS. He has agreed to pay $182,212 in restitution. U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison will impose sentencing Feb. 17. At that time, Mahinga faces up to three years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Escher is prosecuting the case.