Houston tax preparer sentenced for filing a fraudulent income tax return

Houston tax preparer sentenced for filing a fraudulent income tax return

In Houston, Texas, a tax preparer based in the area is now facing a 33-month federal prison sentence after being found guilty of intentionally preparing a false joint 2017 individual income tax return, as reported by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Fabrice Mahinga, who entered a guilty plea on November 29, 2022, has received a sentence from U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, which entails serving his prison term followed by a year of supervised release. During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Mahinga has a significant prior criminal record. The sentencing took into account the seriousness of Mahinga’s illegal activities, particularly given his refugee status in the United States.

Mahinga admitted to operating Kennedy Tax Service in Houston between 2016 and 2018. During this period, he frequently included false Schedule C items, educational credits, and fuel tax credits on the tax returns he prepared. In 2019, he was involved in the preparation of a tax return that should have resulted in a $42 tax liability. However, Mahinga manipulated the return by introducing a fictitious Schedule C and false credits, resulting in a fraudulent claim for an income tax refund amounting to $4,257 from the IRS.

As part of his guilty plea, Mahinga has acknowledged responsibility for causing a $270,612 loss to the IRS and has agreed to pay $182,212 in restitution. He has been permitted to remain free on bond and will voluntarily surrender himself to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility in the near future.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the IRS – Criminal Investigation, with former Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Charles J. Escher and AUSA Christian T. Latham handling the prosecution.

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