3 Jacksonville tax preparers indicted on fraud charges

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three tax return preparers in Jacksonville were indicted on charges of filing false refunds, according to a release Tuesday from the Department of Justice.

The indictments, which are unrelated, accuse Paul Berkins Moise, Joanna Arlean Tukes and Schquan Antionette Shanks with aiding and assisting others with the filing of false tax returns. Each owned and operated a tax preparation business in Jacksonville, the release said.

According to Moise's indictment, between February 2013 and March 2017, Moise defrauded the IRS by filing returns for taxpayers, falsely claiming that the taxpayers incurred business expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses, had paid state and local sales taxes in an inflated amount, and had made gifts to charity in an inflated amount.

According to Tukes's indictment, between February 2013 and March, 2017, Tukes defrauded the IRS by filing returns for taxpayers in which she falsely claimed that the taxpayers incurred business expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses, medical and dental expenses in an inflated amount, had paid state and local sales taxes in an inflated amount, and had made gifts to charity in an inflated amount. 

The indictment also accuses Tukes of significantly underreporting the income she made from her tax preparation business, saying that she made approximately $219,686 in 2013 but reported only $14,600, that she made approximately $294,049 in 2014 but reported only $10,500, and that she made approximately $465,855 in 2015 but reported only $50,540.

According to Shanks's indictment, between February 2015, and February 2018, Shanks defrauded the IRS by filing returns for taxpayers, claiming that the taxpayers had incurred business expenses and had dependents for whom they could claim an exemption. 21 supposed false returns were filed on behalf of eight taxpayers for the tax years 2014 through 2017.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

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