The owner of Emeryville Tax Services, a tax preparation company on San Pablo Avenue, has been charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns. The charge is the result of an investigation by the IRS criminal investigation agency.
Traci Austin, 44, of Brentwood, Calif., Is said to have prepared false and fraudulent tax returns for her clients including false and / or inflated expenses, income and dependents. Austin opened its first business in Emeryville in 2013 and has gradually expanded to locations in Richmond and Pittsburg.
The investigation revealed that Austin would have helped prepare at least 42 fraudulent tax returns and an estimated tax loss of more than $ 697,000 for the federal government.
According to the announcement of the United States Department of Justice, the complaint also alleges that since 2016, Austin has organized a “tax school,” charging at least $ 200 per student. According to the complaint, the tax school’s goal was to hire participants as preparers for Emeryville Tax Services and to prepare tax returns for clients of the business as well as for participants’ own clients.
Austin reportedly instructed potential tax preparers how to fraudulently manipulate tax returns to generate the maximum tax refund, and therefore the maximum tax preparation fee by listing fictitious side businesses in Schedule C and bogus expenses professionals in Appendix A. The complaint describes Austin teaching students set up a fictitious dog grooming business for a client, created a fictitious income statement for the bogus business and how she asked the client to ‘print pictures of dogs to support the idea of ââhis fictitious business.
Austin first appeared in federal court on Thursday, December 2 before United States Trial Judge Kandis A. Westmore. Austin remains in custody and his next court appearance is scheduled for February 24, 2022.
If convicted, Austin faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $ 100,000.
Assistant US Attorney Abraham Fine is pursuing the case with the help of Kay Konopaske and Helen Yee.
Pictures: Emeryville Tax Instagram Account.