A New Iberia woman has been barred from preparing federal tax returns for others after a federal judge found her guilty of tax fraud.

Joyce Bougere-Keyes, owner and operator of Joyce Tax & Financial Service LLC, has agreed to a civil injunction order prohibiting her, and her business, from preparing federal taxes for anyone. According to the complaint, many of the defendant's customers said they were unaware of the alleged fraud.

The government's complaint alleged that Bougere-Keyes had reported fabricated, or inflated business income expenses to fraudulently maximize earned income tax credits for her customers. In some cases, Bougere-Keyes improperly claimed education credits for taxpayers who were were not entitled to them.

This office is committed to stopping tax return preparers who file false tax returns and take advantage of the system," said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley of the Western District of Louisiana. "We will  continue to seek appropriate relief against tax preparers who file fraudulent tax returns in this district."

The Justice Department estimates that the accumulated value of the defendant's fraud over the past six years totals more than $1 million. Bougere-Keyes had prepared more than 7,500 individual income tax returns since 2009.