FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT PERMANENTLY BARS FLORIDA COUPLE FROM PREPARING TAX RETURNS FOR OTHERS
Defendants Ordered To Disclose Customers' Names To Government
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Orlando, Florida has permanently barred Jose A. Fernandez and Alicia C. Burgos of Orlando from preparing tax returns for others. The permanent injunction orders, entered by Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, also bar Fernandez and Burgos, who operated under the name “Economy Legal Services,” from advising customers concerning federal taxes. The court also ordered the defendants to provide the government their customers’ names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone and Social Security numbers.
The court found that Fernandez and Burgos prepared tax returns that claimed fraudulent refunds based on fictitious or inflated deductions, including fictitious or inflated business expenses, improper deductions for taxes paid, improper claimed dependents, and other “miscellaneous” deductions. The court also found that the actions of Fernandez and Bugos, who have prepared thousands of returns since 1999, may have cost the United States Treasury more than $33 million from 1999 through 2002.
“People who prepare false or fraudulent tax returns cheat their customers and unfairly shift the tax burden to honest taxpayers,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “People who hire others to prepare their returns should review their returns carefully to make sure that they are true, correct, and complete.”
More information about this case is available at: <http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv04778.htm>. This case is part of 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 Tax Division can be found at: <http://www.usdoj.gov/tax>