A New Jersey tax preparer has been arraigned for allegedly preparing false tax returns designed to bring larger tax refunds for her clients.

Alicia Jones, 46, appeared Thursday in a Newark, N.J., federal court and was charged in a 25-count indictment. A federal grand jury had indicted her on charges of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false tax returns. Jones surrendered Thursday morning to special agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation unit. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk.

Jones, who owns Rightchoice Financial and Insurance Services, prepared tax returns for her clients that included fabricated and inflated itemized deductions, education expenses, and false filing statuses, according to prosecutors. From 2006 through 2009, she allegedly prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns for her clients in order to obtain larger refunds. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Each of the 25 counts in the indictment carries up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of acting special agent in charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara R. Llanes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

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