WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a Utah federal court to stop several members of a Clawson, Utah family from preparing federal tax returns for others and from selling alleged tax-fraud schemes. The civil injunction suit, filed last week in Salt Lake City, alleges that John Justice, his wife Sandra Justice, his daughters Barbara Justice and Judith Shakespeare, and his son-in-law Byron Shakespeare have prepared or helped to prepare and file fraudulent income tax returns for customers since 2001. The complaint also seeks an order directing the defendants to provide the government a list of their customers' names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone and Social Security numbers.
According to the complaint, the defendants, acting through John Justice's businesses, Accounting Technologies and Dynamic Business Solutions, prepare and file fraudulent income tax returns that claim improper deductions for personal expenses or claim an improper filing status. The complaint alleges that the defendants prepared and filed over 1,100 tax returns for the tax years 2001 through 2003 alone, costing the federal treasury more than $12 million for those years. The complaint also alleges that John Justice organizes and promotes a tax-fraud scheme that uses fraudulent personal businesses, partnerships, and subchapter S corporations in an attempt to evade customers' income and employment taxes.
"People who prepare false or fraudulent tax returns cheat their customers as well as the federal treasury in order to enrich themselves," 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 the promotion of tax fraud."
According to the lawsuit, John Justice pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming to one count of preparing false federal tax returns. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison, 12 months of supervised release, and required to pay $107,653 in restitution.
More information about the Justice Department's efforts against tax-scam promoters and preparers of false or fraudulent tax returns can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2005.htm. Information about the Justice Department's Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.