A Portland tax preparer convicted of helping to prepare and file 11 false tax returns was sentenced this week to 6 months in prison.

Ashraf Eldeknawey, 47, pleaded guilty last August to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns in a plea deal with prosecutors. U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby this week sentenced Eldeknawey to serve 6 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release.

Eldeknawey was also ordered to pay more than $97,000 in restitution to the IRS.

Eldeknawey ran his business from the back of the former Ahram Halal Market at 630 Forest Ave. in Portland from 2015 to 2108. According to prosecutors, Eldeknawey prepared tax returns for a couple that inflated the amount of their 2015 self-employment income and expenses.

The scheme artificially changed the couple’s gross income and made them eligible for the earned income tax credit, which applies to people with low income and who have dependents or children, according to prosecutors.

Eldeknawey also filed a 2014 tax return for himself on which he overstated expenses associated with a painting business he operated, according to prosecutors.

Eldeknawey agreed in the plea that his conduct caused the IRS to lose between $40,000 and $100,000, and as part of the agreement, he will repay in restitution the amount of the loss.

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