SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Deborah Cooksey, 56, of Minden, Louisiana, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to 24 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release, for filing false tax returns. Cooksey was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $547,043.
Deborah Cooksey was indicted in March 2021 and on September 22, 2021, pleaded guilty to one count of filing false tax returns. Cooksey was the owner and operator of Cooksey’s Tax and Notary Services, LLC, in Minden, Louisiana, whose primary business was the preparation and electronic filing of individual income tax returns. She received all fees from the preparation and filing of client’s individual tax returns into a business account under the name of Cooksey’s Tax and Notary Services. Cooksey did not report all fees earned from the preparation and filing of client’s individual tax returns during the tax years 2013 and 2014. On April 15, 2015, Cooksey personally prepared and electronically filed her 2013 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, which was verified by a written declaration that it was made under penalties of perjury with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She reported Schedule C income of $522,662 on her 2013 Form 1040 tax return. These gross receipts and income reported on her Schedule C were false and in truth and in fact, Cooksey knew her true Schedule C gross income for 2013 was $1,356,682. Because Cooksey understated her gross receipts and income on her Schedule C, there are taxes due and owing for 2013.
As part of her plea agreement, Cooksey agreed to be permanently enjoined from preparing, assisting, advising, or counseling in the preparation of, or filing federal tax returns for anyone other than herself. She is also prohibited from maintaining any association with a tax preparation business, instructing, teaching or otherwise training any person in the preparation of federal tax returns.
The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary J. Mudrick and Mike Shannon.