A New Jersey tax preparer was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison for preparing false tax returns for numerous clients that resulted in an estimated tax loss to the federal government of between $30,000 and $80,000.
Newark-based tax preparer Carlo St. Jean, 40, pleaded guilty midway through the trial to seven of the counts against him. Each count charged him with aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns to the IRS from 2004 to 2006.
St. Jean entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler, who presided over his trial. Chesler imposed the sentence Wednesday in Newark federal court.
St. Jean owned and operated Grand Travel Inc. Discount Timeshare, a commercial tax preparation business in Newark, from January 2003 to April 2006. During that time, St. Jean met with at least six clients and an individual whom he later learned was an undercover IRS agent, counseling them in the preparation of false tax returns that included fabricated and inflated deductions allowing them to claim refunds from the IRS in amounts greater than they were entitled to receive.
The phony deductions they claimed included medical and dental expenses, charitable contributions, and unreimbursed employee expenses. In addition to the prison term, the judge sentenced St. Jean to six months of house arrest and two years of supervised release, including a prohibition against being engaged in the tax preparation business.
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