Tax preparer sentenced for fraud, money laundering

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The owner of a Baton Rouge tax preparation business was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for filing false tax returns.

Ronald Wilkerson, 42, had been convicted of filing false tax returns with the IRS, claiming $1.4 million in false telephone excise tax refunds, causing the IRS to issue refunds of $119,450.  

He also used the fake returns to obtain refund anticipation loans from HSBC Bank, costing the bank over $500,000.

Wilkerson also collected $485,000 in tax preparation fees, which he tried to remove from a business bank account on the same day his business was searched for evidence.

In addition to 92 months in prison, Wilkerson will also forfeit $956,000, his stake in the tax preparation business and will have to repay HSBC Bank $500,959.

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