The owner of a New Jersey tax preparation service was sentenced to 18 months in prison for willfully preparing false tax returns for his clients.

In addition to the prison sentence, Jean Desrosiers, 56, the owner of Jean Multiple Services, was also ordered Monday to serve one year of supervised release and pay a $5,000 fine. U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano ordered Desrosiers to pay $168,424 in restitution to the IRS.

“With this year’s tax filing season just around the corner, today’s sentencing of Mr. Desrosiers is a good reminder that taxpayers should be careful when choosing a tax preparer,” said Shantelle P. Kitchen, special agent in charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, in a statement. “While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few dishonest tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns to defraud the government, the taxpaying public and their own clients.”

Desrosiers pleaded guilty in June to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns (see N.J. Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing Fraudulent Returns).

Desrosiers’ business, Jean Multiple Services, operated at various locations in Essex County, N.J., including West Orange, Newark and Maplewood. For tax years 2007 through 2011, Desrosiers prepared a number of fraudulent tax returns, according to prosecutors, fabricating and inflating deductions for medical and dental expenses, charitable contributions, job and other miscellaneous expenses, along with claiming Education Credits on Form 8863 and Child and Dependent Care Expenses on Form 2441.

Desrosiers prepared the initial version of the false and fraudulent returns in the presence of his clients. However, on certain returns, Desrosiers filed a different version with the Internal Revenue Service containing higher Form 8863 Education Credits in order to obtain higher refunds. The fraudulent tax returns filed by Desrosiers allegedly caused a tax loss to the government of approximately $168,424, according to prosecutors.

The investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, under the direction of special agent in charge Shantelle P. Kitchen and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirley Emehelu.

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