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Latham tax preparer admits filing false returns

Latham tax preparer admits filing false returns

A Latham tax preparer admitted Friday to preparing more than a dozen false tax returns for clients,

A Latham tax preparer admitted Friday to preparing more than a dozen false tax returns for clients, making up or inflating false tax deductions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Gnoan Pierre Kablan, 52, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a total of 16 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns.

He is to be sentenced in May. He faces up to three years in federal prison.

Authorities initially charged Kablan last April, accusing him of increasing deductions for clients for a variety of areas.

“The defendant willfully falsified the returns by inflating charitable donations and employment-related expenses, and by claiming solar energy credits for taxpayers who did not purchase solar energy equipment,” assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett wrote in a filing ahead of the plea.

In one instance, a U.S. Attorney filing reads, Kablan helped a taxpayer claim a credit for purchase of home insulation. In another, he helped a taxpayer falsely claim window and skylight credits.

Kablan is accused of filing the false returns for 2008 to 2011. The increased claimed expenses ranged from $700 in fictitious solar costs in one case to more than $8,000 in false unreimbursed employee expenses.

“For each of these 16 returns, the taxpayer has stated that s/he did not provide to the defendant the false information on their tax returns; and the taxpayer has stated that the false information on their tax returns is either made up entirely or inflated,” Barnett wrote.

The 16 returns resulted in a tax loss to the U.S. of nearly $13,000. Barnett wrote that Kablan’s overall relevant conduct resulted in a tax loss of about $127,000.

Kablan could be responsible to pay restitution for the tax loss.

The New York Field Office of the IRS criminal investigations unit investigated.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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