Crime

Fort Worth tax preparers sentenced for falsifying returns

A Fort Worth woman and her daughter-in-law were sentenced Wednesday to federal prison after being convicted of conspiring to prepare false tax returns, according to federal prosecutors.

Ramona C. Johnson was sentenced to 14 years and two months in federal prison, and her daughter-in-law, Nekia N. Everson, got seven years and 11 months, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Johnson and Everson were convicted in November of 34 counts of conspiracy and other tax offenses.

According to evidence presented at trial, Johnson ran a tax preparation business in Fort Worth that was known, among other names, as Tax Office One. Everson prepared tax returns at the business.

Prosecutors presented evidence that the women prepared returns that included false schedules, deductions, exemptions and credits —including fabricating businesses and dependents, among other exemptions —to try to reduce the amount of taxes customers owed and get larger refunds than they were entitled to, the release said. As a result, Johnson and Everson could charge higher fees for preparing the returns and retained customers, who spread the word to potential customers.

Evidence also showed that Johnson understated her income on her own tax returns in 2009 and 2010. Between January 2008 and October 2011, according to evidence presented at trial, Johnson’s tax preparation business collected more than $1.9 million in tax preparation fees from clients.

Mark David Smith, 817-390-7808

Twitter: @MarkSmith_FWST

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