Newport News woman prepared falsified tax returns to inflate refunds for clients, prosecutors say

Crime

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News tax preparer pleaded guilty Friday to preparing falsified tax returns to help inflate refunds for clients.

Federal prosecutors say Angela C. Harper, who owned At Ease Tax Services, would claim fraudulent credits and deductions on behalf of her clients, but wouldn’t sign the returns as a paid preparer, making it seem the clients prepared the returns themselves. This happened between 2014 and 2018, as she operated the business from her home and hotel rooms in the Newport News area, according to court documents.

Harper also didn’t provide copies of the returns to her clients, even after being specifically told to do so, prosecutors say.

She’s scheduled to be sentenced on January 4, 2021, and faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison, and a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. 

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