Florida Return Preparer Convicted of Tax Fraud

1 year ago

A federal jury convicted a Florida man today for preparing false tax returns for his clients.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Fred Pickett Jr., 54, of Belle Glade, owned and operated a tax return business that he used to prepare false individual income tax returns. From 2013 to 2016, Pickett created tax returns for some of his clients claiming they owned fictitious businesses that lost tens of thousands of dollars each year. Pickett included these made-up companies, as well as other false deductions and tax credits, on clients’ tax returns to generate refunds they were not entitled to receive.

At trial, Pickett was convicted of 22 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison for each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Line of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

IRS-CI investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Parker Tobin and Patrick Elwell of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.

Updated December 17, 2021

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