The owner of an Opelousas tax preparation company pleaded guilty this week in federal court to tax evasion and failing to pay more than $125,000 in taxes.
Lachala Guidry Joseph, 37, pleaded guilty Wednesday in front of U.S. District Judge Richard Haik, said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley.
Joseph faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $100,000 and restitution to the government.
At the plea hearing, Joseph admitted depositing business income into accounts held by her “sister, mother and aunt in order to disguise the amount of money she earned,” Finley said in a news release.
Joseph admitted under-reporting 2010 income and received oversized refund checks, Finley said, and she did not file tax returns for 2011 through 2013.
Finley said Joseph didn’t report over $500,000 in income for those years, which resulted in a tax loss to the U.S. of more than $125,000.
“Joseph’s business also added false cash income information to its tax returns in amounts high enough to qualify them for the maximum earned income tax credit,” Finley said, “which resulted in her clients receiving tax refunds they were not entitled to.”