A Gladwin man has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan said 53-year-old Mark Patterson, a tax return preparer in Beaverton, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with a scheme to steal the tax refunds of over 160 clients.

“Mr. Patterson violated the trust of his clients. Rather than carry out his ethical responsibilities as a tax return preparer, this defendant stole money from his clients to enrich himself,” stated U.S. Attorney Ison. “Through the efforts of the IRS agents in the case and Assistant U.S.
Attorney Jules DePorre, each and every victim in this case will receive as much restitution as possible.”

Patterson admitted to stealing over $600,000 as part of the scheme. He worked at Schuster Tax Service in Beaverton from 2015 until February 2020. Patterson would steal portions of clients’ tax refunds by depositing the money into his own bank accounts, then give them a false tax return with a refund lower than what they should have received.

Schuster Tax Service owner Jennifer Schuster Semer discovered the fraud and contacted Beaverton Police.