Mo. tax preparer admits filing false returns

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The owner of a suburban St. Louis accounting firm has pleaded guilty in tax fraud scheme that prosecutors say cost the federal government more than $200,000.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Rahman Watson pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count each of identity theft and filing a false tax return.

The 39-year-old Florissant resident prepared tax returns as the owner of Watson Accounting and Services in St. Louis County. Prosecutors said Watson fabricated income on clients' returns that entitled them to Earned Income Tax Credits that spared them from owing taxes and brought them sizable refunds.

In all, prosecutors said they found 44 instances of refund fraud, resulting in a loss to the government of nearly $214,000.

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