A 53-year-old Rock Springs certified public accountant who pleaded guilty in March to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service has been sentenced to 120 days in federal prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Murray announced Friday.

According to a press release, Paul Edman willfully counseled several local restaurant owners in the preparation of a Form 1040 for calendar year 2014 knowing the form was false.

Murray says Edman made significant adjustments to both personal and business expenses related to the family-owned restaurants to reduce their tax bill, which totaled nearly $645,000; and recommended ways via email in which they could deduct expenses in a fashion that would not stand out in an audit.

"Some may argue that tax evasion is a victimless crime, but that could not be further from the truth," said Murray. "We all end up paying when someone unlawfully evades our tax system."

"Edman's aiding and assisting certain clients file false tax returns is an outright theft of the American taxpayer," he added.

Edman will be on supervised release for one year once he is released from prison.

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