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Erie Man Pleads GUILTY in Federal Tax-Fraud case

On Monday, July 23rd, 2018 Roderick M. Jones plead guilty to three, of the original 26, felony counts regarding his assistance in preparing false income tax returns. Jones prepared 1,015 federal tax returns for several clients which he accumulated over three years by word of mouth through his own photography studio. The clients were unaware of Jones filing the false returns on their behalf and will not be facing any criminal charges. U.S. Attorney Marshall Piccinini stated that the returns were "self-filed" in order to keep Rod Jones' name from appearing on them.

Piccinini also brought to the court's attention that by Jones filing the returns as having "household help" income, clients were then eligible for tax credits such as earned-income tax credit and child tax credit ranging anywhere from $2,980 - $12,960.

The IRS audited 67 fraudulent returns filed by Jones amounting in a total of $324,817. Jones must pay said amount as agreed upon in the plea agreement. An overwhelming total of $4.9 million in refunds are foreseen by the government between the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

After the hearing, Attorney Ambrose said that he is now preparing for Jones' sentencing and has no further comments.

You can find more information in the Erie Times-News or at

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