ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The former owner of a local tax preparation business pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to tax fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said.
According to prosecutors, 30-year-old Eyob Tilahun owned and operated several Tax King locations in St. Louis and East St. Louis. He admitted to training and instructing his tax preparers to increase customer refunds by falsifying information on their returns, such as: false wages, false education expenses, false fuel tax credit expenses, and false business income.
Tilahun said he profited from this scheme by charging clients anywhere from $400 to $650 for tax preparation services. The tax returner preparers themselves also profited from this illegal venture by requesting cash tips from clients ranging from $100 to $1,000.
Tilahun pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to submit false tax returns. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced August 26.
Four other defendants have already pleaded guilty for their role in the conspiracy. Charges are still pending against two other tax preparers.