FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT BROUGHT SUIT AGAINST FIVE LOUISIANIANS TO HALT ALLEGED FALSE TAX RETURN PREPARATION
Monroe-Area Tax Return Preparers Allegedly Fabricated Business Losses And Inflated Deductions To Obtain Fraudulent Refunds For Customers
WASHINGTON D.C. - The Justice Department today asked a federal court to bar five Louisiana residents from preparing federal tax returns. The government’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, alleges that Eddie Ferrand, of Monroe, prepares false or fraudulent tax returns through his business, “Mr. Ed’s Tax Service.” The government also brought suit against Glenda Faye Elliott and Jhacoby LaKelsey Toston, both of Monroe; Michael Dwayne Bell, of West Monroe; and William Nathaniel Kennedy, of Rayville-all of whom also allegedly prepare false or fraudulent tax returns.
The complaint alleges that the defendants prepare tax returns that claim fraudulent refunds based on improper deductions, such as fictitious or inflated medical or dental expenses, charitable contributions, and unreimbursed employee expenses. The defendants also allegedly prepare returns claiming fictitious business losses and false business expenses for businesses that their customers do not operate. Working through either Ferrand’s or their own businesses, the defendants have prepared thousands of returns since 2000, allegedly costing the federal treasury more than $45 million for tax years 2000 and 2001 alone, based on the complaint’s projections.
“People who prepare false or fraudulent returns cheat their customers and unfairly shift the tax burden to law-abiding taxpayers,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are working vigorously to stop these systematic abuses of the tax system.”
The complaint also seeks an order requiring the defendants to provide the Justice Department the names, Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of their customers.
The government’s complaint is part of a continuing nationwide crackdown on return preparers who give false advice. The government has filed numerous lawsuits seeking injunctions against return preparers who prepare false or fraudulent federal tax returns. More information about these cases is available at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2005.htm. More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.