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Case Number: 4:21-cr-00097
Judge: George C. Hanks, Jr.
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Harris County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Houston, Texas criminal defense attorney represented defendant charged for falsely preparing tax returns following a prior order not to engage in that business.
Marcia Angella Johnson pleaded guilty Sept. 7, 2021.
U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. sentenced her to a total of 15 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional testimony that described how Johnson received probationary sentences in her three prior state criminal cases and yet continued to commit crimes. The court also heard testimony about Johnson’s 2011 case, which the United States elected to pursue civilly instead of criminally and which involved her submission of over 200 tax returns with a loss the government of over $1 million. In that case, a stipulated preliminary injunction and default judgment were issued against Johnson barring her from preparing tax returns. The tax credits she tried to obtain in that case were described in a filing as “so exaggerated that no reasonable person could conclude they were anything but deliberately fabricated.”
At the time of her plea, Johnson admitted that since 2016, she had been preparing income tax returns for clients even though she had been prohibited from doing so. During this time, she prepared numerous false returns which claimed various false items on her clients’ behalf. These included false wages, salaries, tips and tax credits such as earned income credit, child tax credits and American opportunity credits.
As a result of her criminal acts, the United States suffered a loss of at least $54,545 in tax revenue, which Johnson was ordered to pay back as part of her sentence. Johnson herself admitted to pocketing between $13,000 and $15,000 after preparing tax returns each year from 2016 through 2019.
Johnson previously admitted to preparing or assisting to prepare approximately 200 false tax returns. In 2011, the court banned her from conducting a tax preparation business.
She was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
IRS – Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Laurence Goldman prosecuted the case.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 15 months custody BOP; 1 year term of supervised release; $100 special assessment. The defendant to participate in a substance-abuse treatment program and to participate in a mental-health treatment program. Restitution to be paid in the amount of $54,545, made payable to the IRS RACS. The Court recommends a voluntary surrender date after May 31, 2022. The Court further recommends incarceration as close to Houston, Texas as possible. .