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Florida Preparer Gets 97 Months in Prison

 A Florida tax prepaper, who was barred from preparing tax returns along with two of his children in 2017, has been sentenced to 97 months in prison for tax preparation fraud. Pickett was convicted on 22 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns and als ordered to pay about $169,639 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Pickett, who lives in Belle Glade, Fla., was barred from preparing federal income tax returns for others, along with his children, Jalisa Steele, and Fred Pickett III. They were accused of filing returns under the names of Steele and the younger Pickett, even though they were returned by their father.

The family operated tax preparation businesses under the names Five Star Tax Agency LLC, Five Star Financial Services Inc., and Millennium Tax Professionals.

Pickett Jr. was charged with using fictitious businesses, and claiming false deductions and tax credits and deductions in order to hike client refunds. The 2017 action also said the preparers often did not tell their clients about the actions they took and did not provide them with complete copies of their returns.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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