By Dave Jordan | December 23, 2020 at 6:42 AM EST – Updated December 23 at 6:42 AM
RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) -A Jacksonville man was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $637,000.00.
According to court documents, 54-year-old Gene Hersholt Williamson, II, operated a tax return preparation business out of Jacksonville between 2012 and 2018.
Prosecutors say Williamson fraudulently inflated his clients’ claimed refunds by reporting fictitious Schedule C businesses on his clients’ returns. If clients had minimal income, Williamson created a fraudulent Schedule C business for them, reporting additional income in order to maximize the claimed earned income tax credit. If, however, clients had substantial wage income, Williamson created fraudulent businesses with significant expenses to reduce their income, qualifying them to receive earned income tax credit. Williamson received 10% of the refunds for his services. To conceal his involvement in the scheme, Williamson did not list himself as the paid return preparer on any returns he prepared.
In addition to preparing false tax returns for clients, Williamson filed false tax returns for himself for 2012-2017. In all Williamson’s misconduct resulted in a tax loss to the IRS of over $550,000.
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