Ex-tax preparer pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

taxesCOLUMBUS — Federal court records say a former tax preparer from Columbus has pleaded guilty in a fraud case.

Cynthia H. Carter was indicted in March on 17 counts. A federal court had already barred Carter from preparing federal tax returns for others.

She pleaded guilty in in U.S. District Court in Oxford to one count of making fraudulent claims. The government alleged that Carter, who did business as Cynthia’s Tax Service, falsely claimed tax credits for customers, including the first-time-homebuyer credit for which some customers were ineligible.

Last year, when she was barred from preparing federal tax returns, related court documents said the Internal Revenue Service paid out more than $900,000 in erroneous refunds to Carter’s customers.

Court documents show Carter consented to the permanent ban from preparing tax returns without admitting to the allegations against her.

She faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The court website did not list a sentencing date.

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