Updated: June 6, 2014 2:46PM
A South Holland woman who ran a South Side tax preparation business has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for tax fraud.
Verlean Hollins, 43, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and fined nearly $800,000 by U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. She pleaded guilty in January to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns.
Hollins owned Taxes, Etc., Inc., in the 2300 block of East 71st Street, between at least 2010 and 2012, federal prosecutors said. She admitted that between 2009 and 2011, she filed a total of 3,193 income tax returns for clients claiming higher education tax credits than they were entitled.
The $798,250 fine represents twice the product of the $3,193 false returns multiplied by Hollins’ average client fee of $125, according to the statement.
This was “not a minor offense, there was significant loss to the government over a period of years,” Judge Der-Yeghiayan said while imposing the sentence.