A Brooklyn Park-based tax preparer was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.

Eric Willor, 70, also known as “Papa Eric,” was sentenced Sept. 24 in U.S. District Court by Judge Eric Tostrud in St. Paul.

Willor previously pleaded guilty May 21.

Willor ran a tax preparation business called Willor’s Tax Preparation and Planning out of his Brooklyn Park home. According to the District of Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, Willor regularly prepared and filed tax returns using false and fraudulent itemized deductions to obtain large tax refunds to which his clients were not entitled. As part of this criminal activity, Willor prepared and filed returns claiming that his client had significant tax-deductible charitable contributions, educational expenses and medical expenses. Willor knew these claims were fraudulent.

Between 2012 and 2017, Willor prepared and filed approximately 100 fraudulent tax returns, claiming approximately $316,000 in fraudulent tax refunds.

In total, Willor’s sentence includes two years in prison, three years of supervised release and $316,979 in restitution.

The case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Thompson.

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