The Justice Department has sued a South Holland, Ill., tax preparer and her company to bar them from preparing tax returns, claiming they are responsible for more than $12 million in tax losses for the government.

The complaint alleges that LaShawn Littrice and Diamond Accounting & Financial Services fabricated tax deductions and credits for customers. A person who answered the phone at Diamond said Littrice had no comment.

Papers filed in the case allege that the defendants prepared and filed over 3,800 tax returns between 2003 and 2005. Instances of alleged fraud cited in court papers include the defendants making up medical, charitable and business tax deductions for customers who had not asked for such deductions and had no records to support the deductions.

One example cited in court papers involved a married couple who allegedly "went to the defendants for return preparation after having heard from coworkers that Littrice could generate large tax refunds. It was not until the Internal Revenue Service examined their 2003 to 2005 returns that they realized that Littrice had claimed thousands of dollars of employee business expense deductions. The [couple] did not discuss employee business expenses with Littrice and provided her with no documentation regarding such expenses."

The court papers state, "Littrice also falsely claimed between $7,821 and $9,072 in annual charitable contributions despite the [couple] telling her that they donated no more than $20 a week to their church. Their 2005 return claimed a $6,000 child care expense allegedly paid to St. Walter School. The [couple] never heard of that school and never used its services."

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