Owner of Lumberton tax preparation business arrested for tax fraud

RALEIGH — A Lumberton tax preparer was arrested Wednesday on charges of tax fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

In the criminal complaint, which was unsealed Wednesday, Emmanuel Wesner Jean, owner of Jean Tax Services, a tax preparation business, was charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2), according to Attorney Michael Easley.

“Tax fraud is a crime that victimizes all of us,” Easley said. “Working closely with IRS Criminal Investigation, we will continue to investigate and prosecute these cases.”

According to the allegations in the complaint, Jean falsified the federal income tax returns of at least two Jean Tax Services clients without their knowledge, by claiming false tax information that minimized their tax liabilities and maximized their refund amounts. The clients learned that Jean claimed these credits on their tax returns when they were subsequently audited by the IRS and required to repay the monies they received. The complaint also alleged that Jean falsified a return prepared as part of an undercover investigation by the IRS.

Jean was arrested at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport attempting to board a flight to Haiti, according to Easley. At his initial appearance Wednesday, Jean was ordered to be held in custody pending further proceedings. Jean faces a statutory maximum penalty of three years in prison if convicted.

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa K. Labresh and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam F. Hulbig are prosecuting the case.