Tax pre­parer sen­tenced to prison

Albany Times Union - - AROUND THE REGION - —Staff re­ports

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.

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