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Tax fraud nets area man prison term

A Stafford County man who operated an area tax preparation service was sentenced Thursday to 37 months in federal prison for preparing fraudulent tax returns.

Daniel L. Jones, 56, who operated Tax Doctor Plus, had previously pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Richmond to two counts of aiding in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns and one count of making a false statement to the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal officials said Jones’ actions cost the government nearly $600,000.

According to court documents, Jones regularly prepared and electronically filed tax returns for clients that contained false entries and items, increasing the refunds they received.

His actions included: splitting married couples into incorrect filing statuses to place them into lower tax brackets; filing false deductions; submitting false expenses and education credits; and falsifying income and W–2’s to qualify taxpayers for credits they didn’t deserve.

He also falsely claimed he was a certified public accountant, allowing him to represent his clients before the Internal Revenue Service.

Court documents assess the total tax loss between 2009 and 2012 at $598,000.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404