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Maryland tax preparer convicted after 8-day trial for preparing false tax returns

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GREENBELT, MD—A Maryland man has been convicted for preparing false tax returns.

A federal jury this week convicted Ronald Eugene Watson, also known as Sabir Muhammad, 59, of Brandywine, on 23 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

The guilty verdict was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Kareem A. Carter of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Watson was a self-employed tax return preparer operating SW Accounting Associates (“SWAA”) in Largo. The evidence proved that from at least 2015 to at least 2017, Watson prepared and electronically filed with the IRS fraudulent Forms 1040 and related Schedules A and C for his taxpayer-clients. Watson included inflated and fictitious tax deductions and fraudulent business profits and losses in order to obtain larger tax refunds to which the taxpayer-clients were not entitled. According to witness testimony, Watson varied his preparation fees depending on the amount of the refund requested, with fees typically ranging from approximately $500 up to approximately $1,500.

“With filing season underway, the conviction of Mr. Watson is a timely reminder of the importance of choosing an honest, trustworthy preparer. This conviction should also put unscrupulous preparers on notice about the consequences that await those who do not play by the rules,” said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Kareem A. Carter.

Watson faces a maximum of three years in federal prison for each of the 23 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2023 at 2:30 p.m.

Photo via Pixabay

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