A Virginia man was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for preparing false tax returns on behalf of clients, theft of government funds, and failing to file his own federal income tax returns.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from at least 2013 through 2019, Karl Burden-El Bey (aka Carl L. Burden), 66, of Hampton, created false tax returns for clients of his Hampton tax preparation business. On his clients’ returns, Burden-El Bey claimed false dependent information, residential energy credits, gifts to charity, deductions, and child and dependent care expenses, all to inflate his clients’ refunds from the IRS. As trial evidence showed, Burden-El Bey often concealed his involvement by not signing such false returns as the tax preparer. He also stole $5,000 by directing without authorization a portion of one client’s refund into his personal bank account. Even though he earned income as a tax preparer that exceeded the minimum filing threshold, from 2013 through 2017 Burden-El Bey did not file his own individual income tax returns with the IRS.

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In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge David J. Novak ordered Burden-El Bey to serve three years of supervised release and pay approximately $5,000 in restitution to the United States.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.