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East St. Louis tax preparer indicted over tax returns

From Illinois Business Journal news services

EAST ST. LOUIS – A local woman was charged by indictment with 29 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns, authorities announced today.

Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, identified her as Evelyn Johnson, d/b/a E.J. Johnson Tax Service.

The 53-year-old East St. Louis woman faces a total maximum sentence of 87 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to one year supervised release, plus mandatory restitution, if convicted.

The indictment alleges that Johnson operates the E.J. Johnson Tax Service in East St. Louis. The indictment further alleges that the IRS sent in an undercover agent to have her taxes prepared after the IRS Scheme Development Center detected a potential pattern of fraudulent returns. The indictment alleges that Johnson prepared a false return for the undercover agent that falsified itemized deductions. The indictment also charges Johnson with preparing 28 other false federal tax returns.

The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.

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