Tax preparer sentenced to prison for fraud

John Labee

John Labee

BATON ROUGE – A Slidell tax preparer who pled guilty to defrauding his clients and the State of Louisiana will spend three-and-a-half years in prison.

John Labee (Booking Photo) admitted to 6 felony counts of issuing worthless checks to the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). East Baton Rouge Parish District Judge Bonnie Jackson sentenced him on Tuesday, September 23, to 46 months in prison at hard labor, five years of post-release supervised probation, and ordered him to pay restitution to LDR in the amount of $50,000. Failure to pay restitution will result in Labee serving an additional 14 months behind bars.

Labee was arrested in September 2011 on charges that included filing more than 500 fraudulent state individual income tax returns on behalf of clients of Innovative Professional Financial Services, a tax preparation business he operated in Slidell. The returns contained fabricated income tax withholding statements, overstated withholdings, and incorrectly reported tax deductions. In addition, Labee was charged with submitting worthless checks to the Department of Revenue for the payment of his clients’ tax debts.

A joint anti-fraud initiative between the Department of Revenue and the state Attorney General’s Office targets a wide range of felonies including but not limited to computer fraud, mail fraud, filing or maintaining false public records and issuing worthless checks.

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Louisiana man faces hundreds of felony counts related to tax fraud

BATON ROUGE – A Slidell business owner faces hundreds of felony charges for filing fraudulent tax returns and issuing worthless checks.

John Labee, 1642 Barrymore Street, Slidell, LA 70461

Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office

Investigators with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office arrested John Labee  as the result of a joint investigation between fraud investigators at the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the Attorney General’s Office.

“This arrest is a great example of Louisiana agencies working together to crack down on tax fraud,” said Secretary of Revenue Cynthia Bridges.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said, “This sends a clear message that fraud will not be tolerated in Louisiana.”

Investigators say Labee, owner of Innovative Professional Financial Services, submitted more than 500 fraudulent Louisiana Individual Income Tax returns on behalf of clients for tax periods in 2008 and 2009.  They say the returns contained incorrectly reported deductions, fabricated withholding statements and overstated withholdings. 

In addition, Labee faces charges of submitting fraudulent returns for himself for tax periods from 2007 to 2009.

The arrest warrant also accuses Labee of writing worthless checks to the Department of Revenue to pay taxes his clients owed to the state.

The charges against Labee include:

  • 530 counts of filing or maintaining false public records
  • 53 counts of issuing worthless checks

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