WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department filed suit in federal court today, seeking to enjoin Nash Sonibare and Liberty Financial Group, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, from preparing federal income tax returns. The civil suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleges that Sonibare prepares federal income tax returns for customers that contain false or inflated deductions and credits. According to the complaint, Sonibare has prepared an estimated 3,373 returns since 2002 that have caused an estimated loss to the U.S. Treasury of over $8 million.
The complaint alleges that many of Sonibare’s customers are recent immigrants from various African countries, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. As many of his customers have limited English-language skills, they are unaware that their tax returns are being prepared claiming false deductions and credits.
“People who prepare false income tax returns and claim bogus refunds are violating the law,” said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. “They are harming not only their customers but all law-abiding taxpayers.”
The lawsuit also asks the court to order Sonibare to give the Justice Department a list of his customers’ names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and Social Security numbers.
The Justice Department has sought and obtained injunctions recently against a number of federal tax return preparers. More information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv05054.htm. More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax. The IRS recently listed return preparer fraud as part of its 2005 “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. The “Dirty Dozen” list can be found on the web at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=136337,00.html.