A New Jersey tax preparer has pleaded guilty to willfully preparing false tax returns for his clients to secure larger tax refunds.

Emmanuel Igho, 54, the owner of Rapid Professional Consulting Services, entered his plea Thursday in a New Jersey federal court before Judge Joel Pisano to the charge of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

Igho admitted to fabricating and inflating itemized deductions, including charitable contributions and unreimbursed business expenses, on Schedule A of his clients’ tax returns for tax years 2005 through 2008.

“While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns to defraud the government, the taxpaying public and their own clients,” said Shantelle P. Kitchen, acting special agent in charge at IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, in a statement. “The taxpaying public can be assured that IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to vigilantly identify and investigate fraudulent preparers like Mr. Igho.”

Igho faces up to three years in prison and a fine of at least $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June.

IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office worked under Kitchen’s direction with U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman’s office on the investigation, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis presenting the government’s case.

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