Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to $1.4M Fraud Scheme

Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to $1.4M Fraud Scheme

An Alexandria man pleaded guilty today to defrauding the U.S. government of approximately $1.4 million in tax revenue by preparing false tax returns on behalf of his unsuspecting clients.

According to court documents, between 2016 and 2020, Lawrence Appiah-Osei, 58, ran a tax preparation business called New Look Enterprise out of his home in Alexandria. From at least 2017 through 2020, Appiah-Osei executed a scheme to fraudulently inflate the tax refunds of his clients. To do so, Appiah-Osei falsely claimed that his clients operated businesses that lost thousands of dollars each year. These fraudulent losses drove down the clients’ taxable income and increased the clients’ tax refunds. The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) estimates the Appiah-Osei’s actions resulted in a tax loss of approximately $1.4 million to the federal government.

Appiah-Osei is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3. He faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.