Escambia Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

June 21, 2017

An Escambia County man has pled guilty to 12 counts of aiding or assisting others in the preparation of false tax returns.

Christopher Jacob Rankins, 32, faces a maximum of three years in prison on earch of the 12 counts. He will sentence in federal court in Pensacola this September.

Documents introduced at the time of the guilty plea reflect that, between January 1, 2011, and  May 8, 2012, while working as a tax preparer at American Tax Service in Pensacola, Rankins aided, assisted, counseled, and advised others in the preparation and presentation of  fraudulent and false tax returns. The tax returns prepared by Rankins falsely represented the taxpayers’ business expenses and falsely claimed educational credits which resulted in tax payers  receiving approximately $356,172 in refunds and credits that the taxpayers were not entitled to receive.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love.


3 Responses to “Escambia Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud”

  1. No Excuses on June 23rd, 2017 12:08 pm

    They will also pursue those who were involved in the filing of fraudulent tax claims. I they don’t get them now, they’ll get them later. But get them they will.
    They have all the documentation to find this guy guilty, so they’ll be able to trace the guilty clients as well.

  2. Candace M on June 22nd, 2017 9:43 am

    There are many people who pay to have their return prepared and have no clue what is on the return. I have prepared tax returns for people who went to places like this company. Many of them had no idea what is going on on their returns, they trust the preparer, and ask no questions. I have heard a lot of these horror stories. Especially after I complete the return, and they do not get as much as they did in the past.
    Sometimes ignorance is not bliss.

  3. Bob C. on June 21st, 2017 5:19 pm

    Okay, so this Rankins guy plead Guilty to “…assisting others in the preparation of false tax returns.”

    Sounds from the write up here that the clients he assisted were willing participants who may have stood to gain Tax Credits which is also a crime.

    Who are the people and how will they be penalized?

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