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Southfield woman sentenced to over a year in jail for filing false tax returns

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Dec. 8, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Dec. 8, 2023 04:02

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Lori Bradford, 56, of Southfield was sentenced Thursday to over a year in jail for filing false tax returns, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. 

Bradford pled guilty to 10 felonies for filing false tax returns for clients and providing false documents to the Department of Treasury. 

She prepared and filed tax returns that had false statements and false claims for refunds, Nessel said. 

Bradford had her client's real W2 but she filed the returns with an inflated withholding amount, leading to a larger claim for a refund, Nessel said. 

When the Michigan Department of Treasury tried to verify the accuracy of the returns, Bradford filed and provided false W2s and other documents to the treasury, Nessel said. 

"Tax preparers have a responsibility to follow the law, to operate with integrity, and to prepare their clients' tax returns honestly and accurately," Nessel said. "People who cheat the tax system hurt everyone. Tax dollars support our schools, fix our roads, and support state and local government. My office and the Department of Treasury will continue to hold accountable those who defraud the State of Michigan."

As a 4-time habitual offender, Bradford pled guilty to:

  • four counts of uttering and publishing;
  • three counts of using a computer to commit a crime 
  • three counts of making/permitting false tax returns

The plea agreement required Bradford to pay $25,000 towards the costs of prosecuting this case, Nessel said.  

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