HOUSTON – A Texas tax preparer has been ordered to federal prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Tiffany Phenix pleaded guilty April 22.
Judge Morales sentenced her to 15 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. She was further ordered to pay $284,826 in restitution.
“Today’s sentencing is a reminder that honest taxpayers need to be careful when choosing a tax return preparer,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Goss of IRS - Criminal Investigation (CI). “Phenix Tax Service was in the business of exploiting their clients’ tax returns to defraud the IRS and by extension the tax paying public. Putting abusive return preparers out of business is a top priority for IRS-CI.”
Phenix prepared income tax returns for others at Phenix Tax Service in Alice. As part of her plea, she stipulated she prepared a total of 37 false income tax returns for clients and four false income tax returns for herself, resulting in an intended tax harm to the IRS of over $284,000.
Specifically, Phenix admitted preparing a false 2015 income tax return for a taxpayer which included creating a false form W-2. She also claimed on the return false wage amounts, a false Earned income Tax Credit and a false income tax refund.
Phenix was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Escher prosecuted the case.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Texas