Rolando Russell, an independent Bridgeport tax preparer, was sentenced to four years and two months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for preparing false tax returns for clients that totaled approximately $1.5 million in fraud.Russell, 62, who pleaded guilty in April to two counts of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return, prepared approximately 1,820 federal tax returns for the 2013 through 2016 tax years. Those returns claimed a total of approximately $11.26 million in refunds, of which the IRS issued approximately $10 million. However, an investigation determined many of the tax returns included false Schedule C forms, also known as the profit or loss from business form, and these losses totaled approximately $22.2 million, resulting in a corresponding reduction of taxes owed of up to $6.2 million.
The Internal Revenue Service is sending notices to Russell’s clients to amend their tax forms from the years in question. Russell, who was also ordered to pay restitution of $1.5 million as part of his sentence, was released on a $100,000 bond and is required to report to prison on Oct. 16.