Durham County

Fraud to cost ex-Durham tax preparer 2 years in federal prison and hefty restitution

Preparing fraudulent tax returns will cost a former Durham woman two years in federal prison.

Maria Streater, who worked for KEF Professional Tax Services, a tax preparation business located in Durham, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison, said acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina. Streater was charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns, according to a news release.

Streater prepared fraudulent income tax returns for clients from 2012-14, according to court records. She created false sources of income for clients in order for them to maximize the earned income tax credit and obtain refunds to which they were not entitled. Streater agreed that she caused a tax loss of $274,090.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles ordered Streater to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $83,083 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews