Tax preparer found guilty of fraud in clients’ tax returns

A federal jury has convicted an income tax preparer on seven counts of fraud involving false tax returns he prepared for his clients.

Allen Brice, who lived and worked in Gulfport, was found guilty on seven counts Thursday in federal court.

The 35-year-old man faces maximum penalties of 21 years in prison, $700,000 in fines and the court costs.

Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. ordered Brice taken into custody after the verdicts were read. Guirola will sentence him on March 22.

Brice was found guilty of reporting false information on four clients’ self-employment retirement plans, education credit and American Opportunity credit for the 2009 and 2010 calendar years.

Documents submitted as evidence included the tax form of an undercover officer and audio/video recordings from the undercover operation, court records show.

Brice had been charged along with his employer, Jeremi Washington, in a 16-count indictment on Jan. 20.

Washington, also of Gulfport, owned and operated Flash Financial on Dedeaux Road. Allen was his only employee, a court paper said.

Washington pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge on Dec. 1. He remains free pending his sentencing hearing on March 1. The maximum penalties for his charge is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews