A Columbia man is in jail tonight accused of stealing nearly $13,000 from a Howard County couple in a  tax preparation scheme.

David Keithley appeared in court earlier this week after police claim he stole from James and Joyce Starke.  The Glasgow couple was having their 2012 taxes prepared when their accountant noticed discrepancies in their 2011 return.

Court documents allege Keithley told the Starkes to write him two separate checks and that he would pay the IRS.  He also allegedly collected a $400 fee from them and another $300 to contest the IRS on their behalf.

According to state records, Keithley is on probation for a previous theft.