A former Loveland, Colo., tax preparer charged with filing a false tax return for a couple in 2001 has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court.

Edward Briggs, now of Vernon, Texas, faces up to three years in prison, and will have to pay $30,436 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for losses resulting from several other tax returns he prepared and on which he supplied false information, according to the plea agreement.

He will be sentenced on Aug. 21.

According to the Department of Justice, Briggs prepared at least 200 tax returns between 1998 and 2001 -- 17 of which contained questionable information, including false wage income or business losses, and caught the attention of the IRS Fraud Detection Center in Utah in 2002.

Briggs was charged with just one count of filing a false return for a couple in the 2000 tax year, claiming they had lost almost $12,000 on a janitorial business, with false wage income of $37,879. The couple, who didn't own a business, paid Briggs $125 for preparing the return and received a $2,600 refund.In his plea agreement, the investigators agreed not to pursue charges in other cases in exchange for his plea and paying restitution.

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