Indiana tax preparer pleads guilty to $1.5M in fraud

A local tax-preparation business owner has pleaded guilty to instructing his employees to prepare more than 2,300 false client tax returns worth $1.5 million.

Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old David R. Franklin of Fishers pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of procuring the preparation of false federal income tax returns. Prosecutors say he owned more than 20 Instant Tax Service franchises in Indianapolis and told his employees to prepare fraudulent federal income tax returns for clients.

The filings happened between 2010 and 2012. Officials say the loss to the federal government was about $1.5 million. Prosecutors said Franklin will be ordered to pay full restitution as part of a plea agreement.

He will be sentenced Oct. 14.

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