North Carolina tax preparation business owner arrested for tax fraud

Published 7:04 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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Emmanuel Wesner Jean, owner of Jean Tax Services (JTS), a tax preparation business located in Lumberton, was arrested June 15, 2022 on charges of tax fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. In the criminal complaint, which was unsealed June 15, Jean is charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2).

“Tax fraud is a crime that victimizes all of us,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “Working closely with IRS Criminal Investigation, we will continue to investigate and prosecute these cases.”

According to the allegations in the complaint, Jean falsified the federal income tax returns of at least two JTS clients without their knowledge, by claiming false tax information that minimized their tax liabilities and maximized their refund amounts.

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“The clients learned that Jean claimed these credits on their tax returns when they were subsequently audited by the IRS and required to repay the monies they received,” stated the release. “The complaint also alleged that Jean falsified a return prepared as part of an undercover investigation by the IRS.”

Jean was arrested at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport attempting to board a flight to Haiti. According to the release, at Jean’s initial appearance on June 15, he was ordered to be held in custody pending further proceedings.

Jean faces a statutory maximum penalty of 36 months in prison if convicted, stated the release.

Easley made the announcement. IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa K. Labresh and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam F. Hulbig are prosecuting.