Tax preparer sentenced to prison
UTICA — A Cohoes man who ran a tax business in Troy was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing the personally identifiable information of children in order to get more money from his tax returns, federal authorities said.
As part of a guilty plea in May, Bryant C. Hardnett, 45, admitted that he ran a tax preparation business known as BH Tax Services out of a storefront in downtown Troy, and that through that business he met a woman who asked him to file a tax return in her name for the year 2013, officials said.
The woman provided her two children’s personal identifying information, including their names and Social Security numbers. Hardnett never filed a tax return in the woman’s name, and instead falsely claimed the two children as his nephews and dependents on his tax returns filed with the IRS in 2013, 2014 and 2015, according to federal authorities.
U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd found that Hardnett caused a total loss to the government of at least $125,331, including related conduct to which Hardnett did not plead guilty. Hurd ordered Hardnett to pay $25,000 in restitution to the IRS, and barred him from filing a tax return for anyone other than himself, while he is on supervised release of three years.
The case was investigated by Irs-criminal Investigation.