Virginia tax preparer sentenced to more than two years in prison for preparing false returns


Date: January 4, 2021


A Newport News, Virginia, tax return preparer was sentenced to 27 months in prison for preparing false tax returns.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Angela Harper owned At Ease Tax Services, a tax preparation business that she operated in her home and hotel rooms in the Newport News area. Between 2014 and 2018, Harper prepared tax returns that claimed fraudulent credits and deductions in an effort to inflate her clients' refunds. Harper did not sign the returns in order to make it appear that the returns were self-prepared by her clients. She also did not review the completed returns with her clients, nor did she provide copies of the returns even when the clients specifically requested them. In total, Harper filed over 400 false tax returns and caused a tax loss of over $700,000 to the IRS.

Special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Francine Davis and Assistant Chief Michael Boteler of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Samuels of the Eastern District of Virginia, prosecuted the case.