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Aug 26, 2010 5:36 PM by Melissa Canone

TAX PREPARER SENTENCED TO PRISON

Shreveport, La.: Sharay K. Johnson, 41, of Shreveport, La., was sentenced to 36 months in
a federal prison, United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley. Johnson pleaded guilty in April to
aiding and assisting in the preparation or presentation of a fraudulent tax return. Thursday's sentence
was imposed by United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr.
Johnson, an office manager at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Shreveport, prepared false
Income Tax Returns in 2003, which contained false and/or inflated Form W-2 income, false
dependents, false Schedule A itemized deductions, false deductions, false education credits, false
qualified retirement savings contribution credits, and false student loan interest deductions. She filed
the tax returns on behalf of taxpayers who had no knowledge of her actions or the false statements
contained on the tax returns. The refunds issued by the IRS were transferred to cash cards through
a Jackson Hewitt program, and Johnson obtained the cash cards and negotiated them for her own
use.
In addition, Johnson's own 2002 tax return contained a false W-2 and, consequently, reported
fictitious wages and federal tax withholding.
Johnson has a very lengthy criminal history, including arrests and convictions relating to
fraud. In September of 2003, Johnson was sentenced to five years for felony theft bank fraud. She
was released in January of 2006.
Stephanie A. Finley, United States Attorney, stated: "Violations of our tax laws are a serious
matter. This sentence should send a message to those who might consider preparing false tax returns
that there are criminal consequences of doing so."
Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal
Investigation, stated: "We are pleased with today's announcement. The tax system is built on the
premise that taxpayers file accurate and timely tax returns. Willfully aiding or assisting in the
preparing of false tax returns is a serious crime, punishable under Federal law. To ensure
in our tax system, Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation are committed to the aggressive
pursuit and prosecution of individuals who intentionally violate the nation's tax laws."
The case was investigated by Special Agent Jude Armand, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal
Investigation, Shreveport Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robin
S. McCoy.

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