U.S. District Judge Richard Young has sentenced a Vincennes woman to four years in prison on tax fraud charges. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler’s office says Deborah Richards pleaded guilty to preparing more than 350 false returns between 2014 and 2017.
In 2015, Richards prepared tax returns for clients of Desirable Tax Services in Washington, Indiana and the following year established her own company, Terry’s Tax Service in Vincennes, where she prepared tax returns in 2016 and 2017.
Minkler’s office says Richards claimed false education credits, false American Opportunity credits, and false itemized deductions which inflated the amount of refunds her clients were owed. She would then provide altered copies of the tax returns to her clients and charge increased fees for her work, earning more than $250,000.
The false tax returns cost taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service more than $550,000 in all.
“We have all learned to trust our tax preparer to tell us what we rightfully owe or are due from the government,” said Minkler. “Ms. Richards betrayed that trust and because of her greed, is going to have four years in the Bureau of Prisons to think about her actions.”
After serving her sentence, Richards will be required to serve one year of supervised release.