WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Tax preparer sentenced for fraud

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A Wilson tax return preparer will spend two years in federal prison after officials say she filed fake tax returns, cheating the government out of more than $780,000.

In early 2015, Tawanda Denise Pitt managed Integritax — a tax preparation business in Wilson. Prosecutors say Pitt falsified taxpayer client returns by “claiming phony dependents and education credits and reporting fake businesses in order to seek refunds to which her clients were not entitled.”

Pitt also admitted she trained other preparers to file fraudulent returns, officials said.

Officials said she cheated the Internal Revenue Service out of between $550,000 and $1.5 million. More than $780,000 in tax loss resulted from false education credits alone, officials said.

She was sentenced to two years in prison and also ordered to serve three years supervised release. She was also ordered to pay back more than $203,000 in restitution to the IRS, according to federal officials.

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