BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — A St. Mary Parish woman who was barred from ever working as a tax preparer again due to fraud has been caught by the Louisiana Department of Revenue in violation of that ban.
Dawanna Monay Monroe, of Patterson, was arrested in 2020 for a tax fraud scheme in which she faked business losses for companies that didn’t exist. Monroe pleaded guilty to charges of filing false public records and illegal transmission of monetary funds, litigators with LDR sued her to prevent her from working as a tax preparer in the state.
LDR officials say they have taken Monroe back to court after she was found to still be preparing taxes in Patterson and New Iberia in violation of the consent judgment issued by the court in December 2021. Monroe was found to be operating under the name Tax and Financial Consultants, LLC at two locations:
- 317 Callahan Street, Patterson
- 801 S. Lewis Street, New Iberia
The 16th Judicial District Court in St. Mary Parish issued the contempt order this month requiring Monroe to withdraw any interest she has in any business engaged in the preparation or filing of Louisiana tax returns or other related documents or forms.
“We take seriously our responsibility to protect Louisiana taxpayers,” Secretary of Revenue Kevin Richard said. “If any preparer files state tax returns in violation of a consent judgment, the Department of Revenue will not hesitate to take them back to court.”
Tips for choosing a reputable preparer
It is important to be selective when hiring a paid preparer. Taxpayers are legally responsible for the information on their returns even if someone else prepares them.
- Make sure the Louisiana Department of Revenue and/or the IRS have not prohibited them from preparing tax returns
- Ask a prospective tax preparer for professional references
- Conduct a background check with the Better Business Bureau, the state licensing board for CPAs, or the state bar association for attorneys
- Find out if the preparer belongs to a professional organization that requires continuing education and holds its members accountable to a code of ethics
- Select a preparer you are confident will be available to answer questions after your return is filed
- Avoid preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the amount of your refund
- Review your return and ask questions about anything you don’t understand before signing it
- NEVER SIGN A BLANK TAX RETURN
If you suspect that a tax preparer is preparing fraudulent returns, call the LDR Criminal Investigation Division’s Tax Fraud Hotline at 866-940-7053. For more information, visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/TaxFraud.