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A Germantown woman was sentenced to six months in prison this week after pleading guilty earlier this year to helping to prepare false tax returns, which caused the IRS to lose more than $217,000, according to authorities.

Shanta Johnson, who was 44 as of May, worked at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2013 through at least 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has said. She prepared and filed tax returns on behalf of her clients on the side during the same period.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Johnson included fake deductions, false businesses and false business expenses, among other fake items, with the goal of increasing her clients’ tax refunds. Johnson sometimes directed some of her clients’ refunds into more than 20 bank accounts that she oversaw, according to authorities.

According to Johnson’s guilty plea, she prepared nearly 200 tax returns using email accounts that contained the names of her clients, but were actually her accounts, with the goal of making it seem as if the clients were preparing their own returns.

Johnson was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to six months in prison and must also pay 98,965.90 in restitution, according to IRS spokeswoman Sarah Maxwell.

An attorney for Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.


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