Date: July 23, 2021 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org WASHINGTON — A North Carolina return preparer was sentenced today to 15 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the IRS. According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2012 through 2016, Audrey Renetta Odom, of Durham, conspired with Karen Jones and Andrea Pasley to prepare false returns for clients. The returns fraudulently lowered the clients' tax liabilities or inflated their refunds by claiming false education credits or dependents or by manipulating the clients' income to qualify for larger earned income tax credits. Odom admitted that some clients were charged up to $2,000 for preparing returns. Based on an analysis of the falsely claimed education credits, the tax loss is over $1.2 million. Jones pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS on Nov. 5, 2020, and was sentenced to 22 months in prison for her role in the conspiracy. Pasley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS on May 6 and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 29. In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen Jr. ordered Odom to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $1,239,847 in restitution to the United States. Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina made the announcement. IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant Chief Todd Ellinwood and Trial Attorney Kavitha Bondada of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.