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NYS Tax Department and Onondaga County District Attorney Announce Arrest of Syracuse Tax Preparer Johnson faces felony charges for allegedly filing fraudulent personal income tax returns to inflate clients’ refunds

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

Aundra Johnson

New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone and Onondaga County District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick today announced the arrest of a Syracuse tax preparer.

Aundra Johnson, 46, of 214 Chaffee Avenue, Syracuse, was charged with felony counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, and 18 counts of offering a false instrument for filing. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Syracuse City Court and was released on his own recognizance.

"With the income tax season underway, this case—and the potential for up to seven years in prison—serves as a warning to tax preparers who fraudulently inflate their clients’ refunds," said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “We’ll continue to work with District Attorney Fitzpatrick and all levels of law enforcement to protect New Yorkers from fraud and unscrupulous practices."

"The arrest of Aundra Johnson is just the latest example of the great working relationship my office has with the State Tax Department,” said District Attorney Fitzpatrick. “These types of cases require cooperation between agencies—the ability to work together to identify criminal activity, conduct comprehensive investigations and ultimately to ensure accountability in the pursuit of justice. I commend Commissioner Boone and his superb staff for their efforts in this case, and for their consistent professionalism and collaboration.

Johnson, who is also an employee of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, was paid to prepare personal income tax returns in Syracuse. He ran this business, Johnson’s Tax Service, out of his home.

Johnson is accused of filing false and fraudulent personal income tax returns claiming inflated refunds on behalf of numerous individuals for tax years 2010 through 2013.

Johnson allegedly prepared fraudulent tax returns using false income figures, fabricated income reported on Schedule C forms, and made claims for refundable credits not owed to his clients.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison or face more than $20,000 in fines.

The Onondaga County District Attorney will prosecute the case. A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

File a complaint

If you're aware of a tax preparer who has engaged in illegal or improper conduct, contact the NYS Tax Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility at (518) 530-HELP (option #2) or file a tax preparer complaint online. The Tax Department will review your complaint promptly and, where appropriate, take corrective action, which may include sanctions.

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