Prominent CPA faces sentence in $3.6M tax refund fraud

Tax Fraud
Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 15:23:00-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A prominent Jamaican-American accountant has been sentenced to more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to operating a $3.6 million tax refund fraud scheme.

A Fort Lauderdale federal judge imposed the sentence Thursday on 61-year-old Pamella B. Watson of Davie, who pleaded guilty previously to wire fraud.

Court documents show Watson falsified tax refund amounts on Internal Revenue Service forms without her clients' knowledge. Hundreds of returns prepared by Watson had inflated refunds split between her accounts and those of her clients, many of them Jamaican-Americans like her.

Watson attorney Bruce Rogow says in court papers she has paid the government about $1.6 million of the $3.6 million in restitution the judge ordered.

Watson hosted fundraisers for top Jamaican politicians and was a member of several civic organizations.