St. Louis tax preparer sentenced for falsified returns

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A tax preparer from St. Louis has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for facilitating the filing of numerous false tax returns.

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Friday that 34-year-old Filmon Tekle’s scheme cost the government nearly $167,500. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Tekle charged significant fees for filing the returns and paid tax preparers a kickback for their work.

Prosecutors say Tekle ran a tax preparation business under a different name each year from 2013 to 2015, including First Class Tax LLC, Reward Tax and First Class Tax Group LLC.

Tekle pleaded guilty in May to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and four counts of falsifying tax returns. He was sentenced Thursday.