09/21/06 — Tax preparer gets year in prison

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Tax preparer gets year in prison

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on September 21, 2006 1:46 PM

NEW BERN -- A retired Air Force member who received the Bronze Star for wartime service in Vietnam was sentenced in federal court for preparing false income-tax refunds.

Joseph Lewis was sentenced to a year in prison and a year's supervised probation after his release. Investigators with the Internal Revenue Service said he prepared false reports for clients over a period of several years while working as a tax preparer and had earned a reputation for obtaining large refunds.

Special Agent Charles E. Hunter of the IRS said taxpayers should be as careful in choosing their tax preparer as they are in choosing a doctor or lawyer.

"Remember, even if someone else prepares your return, you are ultimately responsible for all the information on the tax return," Hunter said in a statement released by the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division.