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Tax Preperer Sentenced For Helping Clients Score Unreal Deductions

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Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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A Gardena man who told clients he was a former Internal Revenue Service worker and found them too-good-to-be-true deductions was sentenced to six years in federal prison Monday in part for costing the government $2.7 in tax revenue that he illegally shaved from customers' returns through those write-offs.

James Otis Swift, 62, was sentenced after pleading guilty to preparing false tax returns that "contained inflated deductions for charitable contributions, business expenses, personal property taxes, and home mortgage interest payments," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles.

As part of a plea agreement Swift admitted that he inflated deductions for home mortgage interest payments by several clients by more than $12.5 million. When some of his clients were contacted by curious IRS agents, he allegedly then helped them fabricate false charitable contribution letters and mortgage-interest payment forms.

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