Former tax preparer pleads guilty to filing false returns

Candia Williams previously fled to Mississippi


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman who owned and operated Express Tax Returns, also known as Taxonville, has pleaded guilty to filing false returns, officials said Friday.

Candia Williams, 49, pleaded to nine counts of aiding in the preparation and filing of false tax returns, according to United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III.

Williams’ sentencing date hasn’t been set.

She faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison on each count, officials said.

As Williams prepared and filed income tax returns for her customers, she reported false information, including inflated business income, to increase the customers’ eligibility for tax credits, court documents said. As a result of her actions, the United States Treasury lost more than $300,000 in tax revenue, according to officials.

Williams was indicted on May 27, 2015. As she waited for her trial to begin, she left Florida, investigators said. Williams wasn’t allowed to flee the state, as that violated the terms of her bond. A fugitive task force discovered she had been staying in a home in Gulfport, Mississippi, officers said.

After a standoff with police, investigators said they found Williams hiding under a pile of clothes in a bathroom closet in the Mississippi home. She was arrested and returned to Florida.

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