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Shreveport tax preparer sentenced to federal prison

SHREVEPORT, La. – Dequita Hopkins-Ashley, 40, of Shreveport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to spend 18 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release, for tax fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook. Hopkins-Ashley was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $129,000.

Hopkins-Ashley was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2020 and charged with numerous counts of aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false return and three counts of false statement on an income tax return. On March 26, 2021, Hopkins-Ashley entered a plea of guilty to the charge of aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false return. According to information presented in court, Hopkins-Ashley owned and operated a tax preparation service called “Elite Tax Service” in Shreveport and was employed as a tax preparer.

In February 2017, Hopkins-Ashley met with an undercover agent posing as a client of Elite Tax Service. Hopkins-Ashley prepared and filed a Form 1040 for the undercover agent and claimed a false business loss on Form Schedule C in the amount of $6,100. The undercover agent did not provide this information to her, and in truth and in fact, no such business existed. As a result of the misrepresentation on the Form Schedule C, the falsified tax return showed a refund to which the individual was not entitled and was a misrepresentation that Hopkins-Ashley knew to be untrue.

The IRS – Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian C. Flanagan and Seth D. Reeg prosecuted the case.