PORTLAND — A tax preparer pleaded guilty Aug. 14 in U.S. District Court to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.

According to plea documents and statements made in court, Ashraf Eldeknawey operated a tax return preparation business located inside the Ahram Halal Market from 2015 to 2018. Eldeknawey admitted to willfully preparing a false 2015 tax return for two clients that intentionally included overstated self-employment income in order to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and a fraudulently increased refund from the IRS.

Eldeknawey admitted that his preparation of false tax returns caused a loss to the government between $40,000 and $100,000. He faces up to three years in prison, as well as monetary penalties. As part of the plea, Eldeknawey also agreed to pay restitution to the IRS.

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