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Syracuse woman sentenced for tax fraud on behalf of herself and others

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Many Central New Yorkers are filing their taxes this time of year and assume their accountant will be honest with the IRS.

Well, that wasn’t the case for 63-year-old tax preparer Phoenix Phan of Syracuse, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $890,000 to the IRS.

In a news release, U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman said as part of Phan’s guilty plea, she admitted she aided and assisted in filing false tax returns for hundreds of clients. On top of that, she failed to report gross receipts on her own personal income tax returns for five years.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at