U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey on Tuesday sentenced a tax preparer from Jennings, Missouri to 51 months in prison for preparing at least 23 fraudulent tax returns.
Judge Autrey also ordered Darius D. Cobb to pay restitution of $85,584.
Cobb, 52, prepared at least 200 tax returns for the tax years 2017 and 2018. In at least 23 of those, Cobb included false information. He included fake W-2 forms with false wages and withholdings, false Schedule C forms reporting profit or loss from a business even if the taxpayer was not a business owner, false claims for the American Opportunity Credit for educational expenses, and false information about dependents.
“Mr. Cobb admitted that he knowingly prepared false returns for others in order to illegally obtain inflated refunds for his clients,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bill Steenson, IRS Criminal Investigation, St. Louis Field Office. “We work alongside our partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout the year to investigate and prosecute dishonest tax return preparers. Let this be a warning to others who may be thinking about engaging in this type of illicit activity.”
Cobb pleaded guilty in April to two felony counts of aiding in the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return.
The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Roy prosecuted the case.