Glen Allen tax preparer sentenced to 33 months behind bars

Crime

FILE – This July 24, 2018, file photo shows a portion of the 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form. It’s the time of year to start thinking about taxes – what’s ahead and what can be done now to manage. But the upcoming tax filing season is going to be trickier for many Americans due to rampant unemployment, working from home and general upheaval due to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A local tax preparer was sentenced Monday to just under three years in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

According to a Tuesday release, Sherry Dudley was sentenced in Richmond and also ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the amount of $556,656.

“As this year’s filing season approaches, taxpayers should exercise caution when choosing a return preparer,” IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge of the Washington, D.C. Field Office Kelly R. Jackson said. “Individuals can find very helpful information on IRS.gov to assist with questions on choosing a reputable return preparer, filing their federal tax return, and the most up to date information regarding economic impact payments.”

According to court records, Dudley owned and operated a tax return preparation business from her home in Glen Allen from at least 2014 through 2018 where she prepared or caused to be prepared fraudulent personal income tax returns for her clients.

“The actions of the defendant […] were in all respects knowing and deliberate, and were not committed by mistake, accident, or other innocent reason,” former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) G. Zachary Terwilliger wrote in the Statement of Facts.

Officials from the IRS say these tax returns contained falsified information, such as inflated or fictitious deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses and charitable contributions. Authorities say Dudley also submitted false income tax returns in her own name, claiming more deductions than she was entitled to report.

According to a release, Dudley pled guilty on August 26, 2020.

She has been sentenced to serve 33 months behind bars.

The court recommended that Dudley be designated to a facility as close to Richmond as possible, and that she receive educational and vocational training.

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