Call Now (800) 681-1295

Texas Tax Preparers Sentenced to Significant Prison Sentence for Defrauding the U.S.

Table of Contents

    As we approach the end of the calendar year, many Americans will begin thinking about their tax filing obligations, the documentation that their tax preparer will need, and any additional tax that they may owe. Once tax returns are prepared, a smaller subset will find out that they are due a refund. Refund claims are typically the result of over-withholding or a year with more deductions than expected. But some taxpayers and their tax preparers claim refund when they are knowingly not appropriate. Such is the case in today’s blog, involving a pair of tax preparers that assisted in the claiming of over $1 million of fraudulent deductions. Without surprise, their illegal activity resulted in a federal prison sentence.

    See our Criminal Tax Law Q and A Library

    According to a Department of Justice press release, Janell Lightner and co-defendant Stacey Anderson operated Anderson Professional Tax Services (APTS), a tax preparation firm that focused on tax return preparation in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

    Between 2013 and 2014, Lightner and Anderson worked together to secure fraudulent refunds on clients’ tax returns by claiming inflated deductions for knowingly false expenses. Furthermore, the pair claimed credits that their clients were not entitled to, such as educational tax credits. Through the investigatory process, the government estimates that as a result of Lightner and Anderson’s criminal actions, the IRS suffered a tax loss of more than $1.3 million and over $8 million, respectively.

    At sentencing, presiding U.S. District Court Judge Alan D. Albright sentenced Lightner to serve 27 months in a federal prison. Additionally, Lightner was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release following the conclusion of her physical incarceration. Lastly, she was ordered to pay $1.337m in restitution to the IRS. Anderson was sentenced to serve 87 months in prison and pay over $8 million in restitution.

    Key Takeaways

    Unlike the story above would seem to indicate, most tax preparers are honest professionals who would not risk their or their clients’ livelihoods for a quick buck in extra tax refunds. But as we inch closer to tax season, the reality that this type of fraud exists should be in the minds of taxpayers.

    Many tax compliance and planning concepts are complex and require a detailed analysis of the facts and circumstances surrounding a client’s situation. In those instances, consulting with an experienced tax attorney who is also a licensed CPA may be the best option to ensure that you are accounting for your particular situation correctly, as well as taking advantage of any tax planning opportunities that may be available.

    Contact an Experienced Tax Attorney Today

    The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have worked with individuals and business owners of companies ranging in size from mom and pop to middle market. If you have received notice from the IRS or state taxing authorities that your individual or business tax returns are being scrutinized, our team of zealous advocates will help you develop a legal strategy aimed at preserving the integrity of you and your business. Do not let the threat of a criminal investigation or prosecution keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.

    Here is a link to our YouTube channel: click here!

    See our Audit Representation Q and A Library

    In addition to our staffed main offices in Irvine,  the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad and Sacramento.


    Note: If you have concerns about the privacy of our initial or subsequent communication and are unable to easily travel to our Irvine / Orange County Main Office, consider scheduling a GoToMeeting to safely and securely establish an initial or maintain an existing attorney client relationship.  With end-to-end encryption, strong passwords and top-rated reliability, no one is messing with your meeting. To schedule a reduced rate initial consultation via GoToMeeting follow this link.   Call our office and request a GoToMeeting if you are an existing client. We are generally happy to travel to any of our appointment only satellite offices for a subsequent meeting in appropriate circumstances once a relationship is established via a signed engagement letter and the payment of an initial retainer or where enough retainer is available where a current client to cover the reasonable travel time and time required for the meeting.

    Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company?  Absolutely not!  See our policies that address this issue here.

    Tax Help Videos

    Representing Clients from U.S. and International Locations Regarding Federal and California Tax Issues

    tax lawyers

    Main Office

    Orange County
    2601 Main St. Penthouse Suite
    Irvine, CA 92614
    (949) 681-3502

    Our headquarters is located in Irvine, CA. Our beautiful 19,700 office space is staffed full-time and always available for our clients to meet with our highly qualified and experienced staff of Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents. We also offer virtual consultations and can travel to meet with clients in one of our satellite offices.

    Outside of our 4 hour initial consultation option, we do not charge travel time or travel expenses when traveling to one of our Satellite offices, or surrounding business districts, where it is necessary to meet personally with taxing authority personnel, make court appearances, or any in person meeting deemed necessary for the effective representation of a client. To make this as flexible, efficient, and convenient as possible, David W. Klasing is an Instrument Rated Private Pilot and Utilizes the Firms Cirrus SR22 to service client’s in California and in the Southwest by air. Offices outside these areas are serviced via commercial jet airlines. None of these costs are charged to our clients.

    Satellite Offices

    (310) 492-5583
    (760) 338-7035
    (916) 290-6625
    (415) 287-6568
    (909) 991-7557
    (619) 780-2538
    (661) 432-1480
    (818) 935-6098
    (805) 200-4053
    (510) 764-1020
    (408) 643-0573
    (760) 338-7035
    (602) 975-0296
    New Mexico
    (505) 206-5308
    New York
    (332) 224-8515
    (512) 828-6646
    Washington, DC
    (202) 918-9329
    (702) 997-6465
    (786) 999-8406
    (385) 501-5934