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Tax preparer admits fraud

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As April approaches, Western New Yorkers will be finishing up their income tax returns. However, one tax preparer will not be taking any more customers.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office says 48-year-old Shonnel Harris of Cheektowaga has pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case to criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree. Harris admitted she acted as an unlicensed tax preparer, assisting others in the preparation of false New York State personal income tax returns, resulting in a loss of about $19,000 to New York State.

Harris faces 1-1/3 to 4 years in jail when she is sentenced by Case on June 12.