A Lafayette Parish tax preparer received two years in federal prison Wednesday for filing false tax returns for herself and her clients.
A local tax preparer received two years in federal prison Wednesday for filing false tax returns for herself and her clients.
According to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley's office, 52-year-old Lutricia Feast of Youngsville worked as a tax preparer between 2001 and 2009, but in the last three years of her employment she only reported a fraction of her income to the IRS.
On her 2008 return, Feast claimed an income of only $14,400, when in reality she made $280,170 that year. Feast also admitted that between 2006 and 2009, her real income was $830,986, and that she owes the IRS $287,860 in unpaid taxes.
In 2009, Feast also falsified information on 22 tax returns for her clients, resulting in the IRS issuing $96,915 in unearned refund checks.
"Prior to pleading guilty, Lutricia Feast worked as an income tax preparer where she held herself out to be an expert in the field of tax preparation," states Gabriel L. Grchan, special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigations for the New Orleans field office. "She manipulated the income and expenses of unsuspecting clients in order to increase their refund. By doing this, Feast was able to generate a larger clientele thus increasing her income - income that she failed to report on her own personal income tax return. Both of these actions are criminal offenses. It is very important that taxpayers do not shop tax preparers for the highest refund, but instead, find a preparer with a sound reputation that will prepare an accurate tax return. When you sign your tax return you are agreeing, under penalty of perjury, that the return is correct."
In addition to a two year prison sentence, Feast also was ordered to pay $385,582 in restitution.