Bridgeport Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, announced that TORISE BAKER, 38, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to a tax fraud offense.

According to court documents and statement made in court, for the 2014 through 2016 tax years, Baker prepared approximately 3,600 federal tax returns for clients through 101 Things 2 Do, LLC, a multi-service business she operated in Bridgeport.  Many of these tax returns claimed false deductions, including unreimbursed business expenses, charitable contributions and tax preparation fees.

In April 2016, Baker met with an undercover federal agent posing as a customer.  The agent provided Baker with a W-2 for the 2015 tax year, told Baker that he/she did not make any gifts to charity, and offered no information about any other valid deductions.  On the tax return that she prepared and filed for the agent, Baker included $5520 in deductions for charitable gifts; $2,105 for parking fees, tolls, and transportation; and $2,660 for uniforms and protective clothing.

In addition, Baker failed to file her own federal tax returns for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.

Baker has agreed to pay $112,956 in restitution to the IRS.

Baker pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent income tax returns, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years.  She is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea on June 13.  Baker is released on bond pending sentencing.

As a result of Baker’s criminal conduct, many of her clients’ filed tax returns will need to be amended.  The amount of Baker’s restitution may be reduced as her clients resolve their own tax liability with the IRS.

This investigation has been conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.