Valley, Alabama Tax Preparer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Filing False Tax Returns

Valley, Alabama Tax Preparer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Filing False Tax Returns

            Montgomery, Alabama – Today, United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced that Christina Prather Williams, 42, from Valley, Alabama, received a sentence of 20 months in prison for preparing false federal tax returns.

            According to court records and statements made in open court, Williams operated a tax preparation service in Valley, Alabama, “Family Tax Service,” where she prepared federal income tax returns for clients. Some of Williams’s clients complained to the Valley Police Department that they never received their tax refunds. The Valley Police Department’s investigation revealed that Williams had forged power of attorney forms in her clients’ names and cashed their refund checks, keeping the money for herself. The Valley Police Department reported its findings to the IRS. During its own investigation, the IRS determined that Williams had indeed prepared and filed false tax returns that included deductions her clients were not entitled to claim. In light of this conduct, on June 8, 2022, Williams was indicted.

            In her plea agreement, Williams specifically admitted to filing for two individuals 2018 returns containing numerous false claims. In one return, filed in March of 2019, Williams claimed that a client incurred solar electric and water heating property costs, medical and dental expenses, home mortgage interest and points, and gifts to charity totaling $39,887.00. Williams also admitted to filing a return for another customer in April of 2019 that falsely claimed the same types of expenses, plus child and dependent care costs, in the amount of $42,841.00. Williams included all of these expenses in her customers’ returns despite knowing that the customers were not entitled to claim the expenses. As a result of Williams’ false statements, the IRS paid a larger return to the taxpayers than they were entitled to receive.

            In addition to the 20-month prison sentence ordered on April 3, 2023, Williams will also serve one year of supervised release and is required to pay the IRS $76,694.00 in restitution.

            “Tax preparers are entrusted to complete their clients’ returns using accurate and legitimate tax information,” stated United States Attorney Stewart. “Unfortunately, some paid tax preparers falsify information to make more money for themselves. I applaud the Valley Police Department and the IRS for investigating this case and stopping these crimes against the American taxpayer.”

            “Christina Williams used her position as a tax preparer to defraud her clients and the U.S. government and will now be held accountable,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “As this year’s tax season comes to a close, this is a timely reminder for taxpayers to review their returns carefully before signing and submitting them to the IRS. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate and recommend prosecution of dishonest tax preparers.”

            The IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Valley Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. Kirkpatrick prosecuted the case.

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