A former Jacksonville man has been convicted of of aiding and assisting in the preparation of, and for filing false tax returns.
A Springfield jury deliberated for two hours before finding West Mpetshi (ma-pet-she) guilty on all charges Friday afternoon.
In 2015 and 2016, the 38 year old Mpetshi, was living in Jacksonville and was employed at Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., in Beardstown, Ill. The defendant was not a licensed tax preparer but used the tax preparation software program TurboTax at his home to prepare returns for himself and others, including fellow coworkers who were French-speaking.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a French-speaking country in southern Africa, Mpetshi typically charged $250 to $300 to prepare and submit a tax return, requiring payment upfront.
Individuals would generally provide income information to Mpetshi who then prepared the return and added false deductions and credits- such as education or moving expenses which resulted in higher refunds paid to the taxpayer. Taxpayers were not provided copies of their filed returns.
Mpetshi, currently of Carbon Cliff, Ill., will remain on bond pending sentencing. Each of the 30 counts charged carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Sentencing is scheduled for December 13, 2019.