Florida Return Preparers Charged with Defrauding the IRS
(STL.News) A federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale returned an indictment on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, charging two tax preparers with conspiring to defraud the United States and preparing false tax returns. The defendants made their initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt today.
According to the indictment, Nikency Alexis owned and operated Unity Tax & Financial Services, a return preparation business in Broward County. From 2011 through at least 2016, Alexis and Thony Guillaume, a return preparer at Unity Tax, allegedly conspired to defraud the IRS by preparing returns for clients that fraudulently increased their clients’ tax refunds. The returns allegedly falsely claimed business and education expenses that the clients did not in fact incur. The indictment also charges that Alexis made false statements on his own personal income tax returns.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and three years in prison on each count of preparing false tax returns for their clients. Alexis also faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count related to his own false tax returns. In addition, the defendants face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida made the announcement.
Special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation are investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Lauren Archer of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Deric Zacca are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.