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If a tax preparer promises a return that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  This tax season, the U.S. Attorney is promising a crackdown on unscrupulous tax-preparers. Here is a cautionary tale. Bryan Gardner is serving six-and-a-half years in prison. His brother, Jeremy Lasane, is serving 12 years, and he also has to pay back almost $800,000. They were convicted of income tax fraud and identity theft for ripping off the social security numbers of innocent victims and filing false tax returns. They are just two of the many white-collar criminals the U.S. Attorney’s office is targeting this tax season. “What we see a lot of is them making false promises and saying we can get you a larger return than what’s warranted. Often times we’ll see individuals that will say we’ll tie in our fees with your return, which is certainly a red flag,” said U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton III, Western District. His office is also going after assets like the Maserati and Mer-cedes-Benz that belonged to one of the brothers. Both sets of wheels are now owned by the government. “What we would say to those individuals and organizations is certainly you may get by in the short run but ultimately you won’t get away,” said Stanton. Stanton says it’s important to guard your social security numbers and be smart about who does your taxes. Remember, if a tax preparer promises a return that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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