Tax preparer sentenced for filing bogus returns

Tax preparer sentenced for filing bogus returnsHeather Sweet, age 36 of 66 Massachusetts Ave. in Johnson City, N.Y. (Provided Photo)

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced last week that a former tax preparer from Broome County has been sentenced for preparing and filing fraudulent personal income tax returns.

Heather Sweet, age 36 of 66 Massachusetts Ave. in Johnson City, pleaded guilty in June to a felony for filing false income tax returns with the New York State Tax Department. The returns in question reported false Schedule C income and claimed refundable credits that weren’t owed.

The department’s investigation showed that Sweet filed the returns for numerous friends and relatives for tax years 2008 through 2011 while she was employed by a professional tax preparation firm.

Sweet was sentenced in Broome County Court on Oct. 21 to a three-year conditional discharge and ordered to make restitution to New York State in the amount of $12,000. The Tax Department will bill Sweet an additional $30,000 in preparer penalties.

“Many New Yorkers hire tax preparers to accurately and honestly prepare their returns,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “Preparers who betray that trust not only break the law, they jeopardize their clients’ finances. We will continue to work with law enforcement at all levels to investigate and prosecute these individuals.”

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