A Winston-Salem, North Carolina, tax preparer pleaded guilty today to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and to filing a false personal income tax return.
According to court documents, from 2014 to 2019, Nicholas Laws managed the Winston-Salem branch of Tax Mind, a tax-return preparation business. During that period, Laws prepared fraudulent returns for clients that reported false wages and business incomes to increase the clients’ refunds. Laws charged additional fees to prepare false returns with fees occasionally exceeding $1,000. Laws also filed a false personal income tax return for 2014 and did not file tax returns reporting his income for 2015 through 2019, despite having an obligation to do so. Laws intended to cause a tax loss to the IRS of $2,934,891.
Laws is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20, 2021. Laws faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and three years in prison for filing a false personal income tax return, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. Laws agreed in his plea agreement to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $184,072. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Brian Flanagan and Kevin Schneider of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cliff Barrett of the Middle District of North Carolina are prosecuting the case.
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