Natchitoches tax preparer sentenced for filing false returns - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Natchitoches tax preparer sentenced for filing false returns

Posted: Updated:

ALEXANDRIA, La. – (KALB News Channel 5) Natchitoches woman sentenced to 18 months in prison after preparing false tax returns.

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced on Jan. 31, 2014, that Lashanda E. Harris, 38, of Natchitoches, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, to 18 months in prison and a year of supervised release for aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false tax return. She was also ordered to pay $101,795 in restitution. Harris pleaded guilty Oct. 29, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, from Jan. 2012 to April 2012, Harris, a tax preparer in Natchitoches, assisted customers in preparing false tax returns for tax year 2011. The returns contained false information concerning W-2, federal tax withholdings, Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit. Based on the false statements in the tax returns, individuals were able to obtain in excess of $100,000 in fraudulent tax refunds. As part of the scheme, Harris received "kickbacks" from the customers.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg prosecuted the case.

With tax filing season upon us, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley urged the public to also protect themselves from identity thieves. Finley said tax identity theft can occur when someone files a phony tax return using your personal information to get a tax refund from the IRS. It can also happen when someone uses a Social Security number to get a job or claims a child who is not theirs as a dependent on a tax return. Tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission, and the IRS has made tax identity theft a top priority.

Visit the FTC at ftc.gov/idtheft and the IRS at irs.gov/identitytheft for more information about tax identity theft.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Ice Bucket Challenge made to Tioga Detectives

    Ice Bucket Challenge made to Tioga Detectives

    Friday, August 15 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-08-15 21:38:12 GMT
    TIOGA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - In November of 2003, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its most devoted and hard working Detectives we have ever had. More >>
    TIOGA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - In November of 2003, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its most devoted and hard working Detectives we have ever had. More >>
  • Mississippi man shot after reporting cross burning in his yard

    Mississippi man shot after reporting cross burning in his yard

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:30:00 GMT
    JACKSON, Miss. (CBS News) -- A Mississippi sheriff says a man was beaten and shot two weeks after calling authorities to report a cross burning in his yard, and investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was prompted by people being upset that the man was visited by his mixed-race grandchildren.More >>
    JACKSON, Miss. (CBS News) -- A Mississippi sheriff says a man was beaten and shot two weeks after calling authorities to report a cross burning in his yard, and investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was prompted by people being upset that the man was visited by his mixed-race grandchildren.More >>
  • Tropical disturbance moving to the Caribbean Sea

    Tropical disturbance moving to the Caribbean Sea

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:15 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:15:54 GMT
    Wednesday, August 2011:30 AMMost of the Atlantic Basin is quiet, but there are two tropical disturbances being monitored. The first disturbance isroughly 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. An area of low pressure remains disorganized as it slowly moves westward at 10 to 15 mph. It will continue toward the Caribbean Sea, and will then reach conditions that are favorable for tropical development. Low wind shear, and warm Caribbean waters could strengthen the cluster of thunderstorms into ...More >>
    Wednesday, August 2011:30 AMMost of the Atlantic Basin is quiet, but there are two tropical disturbances being monitored. The first disturbance isroughly 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. An area of low pressure remains disorganized as it slowly moves westward at 10 to 15 mph. It will continue toward the Caribbean Sea, and will then reach conditions that are favorable for tropical development. Low wind shear, and warm Caribbean waters could strengthen the cluster of thunderstorms into ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.