A New Jersey woman who owned a tax preparation business was sentenced to 18 months in prison for filing false tax returns on behalf of her clients and herself, resulting in a tax loss of nearly $200,000.

Alicia Barnes, 50, of Irvington, N.J., a former corrections officer for New Jersey and self-employed owner of a tax preparation business, had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to one count of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false personal federal tax returns and one count of willfully subscribing to false personal federal income tax returns. Judge Salas imposed a sentence on her Tuesday in Newark federal court.

Barnes was the sole owner and operator of Just Taxes Unlimited LLC, a tax prep business located in Orange, N.J. During tax years 2006 through 2008, Barnes filed 42 false tax returns on behalf of clients by taking deductions for charitable contributions and unreimbursed employee expenses without a justification for doing so, according to prosecutors.

Barnes admitted that for tax years 2006 through 2008, she also filed federal individual income tax returns in which she purported to report all of her income, but in which she failed to report, or substantially underreported, the income she earned through Just Taxes Unlimited. As part of her guilty plea, Barnes agreed to make full restitution to the IRS.

In addition to the prison term, Barnes was sentenced to one year of supervised release. She resigned from the N.J. Department of Corrections in 2009.

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