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Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud 

 The owner of the Cititax Tax Refund stores in Pittsburgh, Pa. has pleaded guilty to cheating the government of $7.2 million by inflating client tax refunds.

The owner, Ephrem F. Lijalem pleaded guilty to two counts of tax preparation fraud in a case in which the government said store preparers routinely falsified returns. Lijalem, who is a resident of Carpentersville, Ill.,  faces a possible six years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

The Internal Revenue Service said preparers regularly utilized deductions for non-existent business, inflated income and altered expenses on Schedule Cs.

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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