Sept. 26 -- A Tulsa, Oklahoma, woman was sentenced Wednesday to five years of probation and was ordered to pay more than $79,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service after pleading guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false federal income tax return.
Kathy Morris, 46, who had worked as a tax preparer, was charged in a 21-count indictment Nov. 7. A federal grand jury in Tulsa alleged that she assisted in the preparation of fraudulent returns on behalf of seven individuals or couples from April 2009 through April 2011.
She pleaded guilty May 9 to only one of the counts, but U.S. District Judge James Payne was able to consider all relevant conduct in determining her sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Gallant wrote in a Sept. 16 court filing that Morris used her expertise to prepare numerous false income tax returns for several years and did so "in a systematic manner without the knowledge and consent of the taxpayers."
Gallant wrote that Morris perpetuated the scheme by including false deductions on the returns. The scheme both increased the amount of the tax refunds to the taxpayers and her own fees because she charged per schedule or form prepared, according to Gallant.
On Wednesday, Payne ordered Morris to pay $79,688 in restitution to the IRS.
Morris could face as much as three years in prison if her probation is eventually revoked, the judge said.
Copyright 2013 - Tulsa World, Okla.