The owner of Del Tax Services pleaded guilty to willfully preparing false tax returns for clients.

Patrick Delfosse entered his plea in federal court before U. S. District Judge Mary Cooper on Monday. Delfosse pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

Delfosse was the operator of Del Tax Services, a tax preparation business that provided services mainly to individual taxpayers. According to prosecutors, he prepared a 2006 tax return for clients identified as DB and MB. Delfosse prepared a Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss, claiming approximately $23,938 in rental real estate losses on DB and MB’s 2006 tax return. He admitted that the rental real estate losses he listed on this tax return were false.

For sentencing purposes, the IRS said Delfosse’s relevant conduct would be taken into account relating to his preparation of fraudulent tax returns for other clients as well. In total, Delfosse’s criminal conduct resulted in tax loss to the government of between $80,000 and $200,000.

The charge of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return carries up to three years in prison and a maximum fine equal to the greatest of either $250,000; twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain derived from the offense; or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2015.

“Refunds should only be issued to taxpayers who are entitled to them,” stated Jonathan D. Larsen, acting special agent in charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation's Newark Field Office, in a statement. “At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take extremely seriously.”

The investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation's Newark Field Office, under the direction of Larsen, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. The government's case was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel V. Shapiro.

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