SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - An Oakland County tax preparer was sentenced last week to more than a year in prison for fraud.
Lori Bradford, 56, of Southfield, pleaded guilty to four counts of uttering and publishing, three counts of using a computer to commit a crime, and three counts of making/permitting false tax returns.
Authorities say Bradford prepared and filed tax returns that contained false statements and false claims for refunds.
Despite the fact that she had clients' real W2s, she prepared the returns with an inflated withholding amount, leading to a larger claim for a refund. When the Michigan Department of Treasury tried to verify the accuracy of the returns, Bradford prepared and provided false W2s and other supporting documentation.
Bradford, who is a four-time habitual offender, was sentenced to 15 months in prison. She must also pay $25,000 toward the costs of prosecuting the case.
"Tax preparers have a responsibility to follow the law, to operate with integrity, and to prepare their clients’ tax returns honestly and accurately," Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel said. "People who cheat the tax system hurt everyone. Tax dollars support our schools, fix our roads, and support state and local government. My office and the Department of Treasury will continue to hold accountable those who defraud the State of Michigan."