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Federal Court Bars Charlotte Man from Preparing Tax Returns

Tax Preparer Allegedly Fabricated Deductions and Credits for Customers

WASHINGTON—A federal court in Charlotte, N.C., entered a preliminary injunction against Kodjovi Raphael Totou, a Charlotte-based tax preparer who operates Queen City Tax Services, the Justice Department announced today.

The order bars Totou from preparing or filing federal income tax returns for anyone other than himself. It is effective immediately and will remain in effect through Aug. 15, 2008.

The government complaint in the civil case alleges that Totou has claimed fraudulent fuel tax credits on customers’ returns and fabricates or inflates tax deductions.

According to the government’s complaint, Totou prepared more than 450 federal income tax returns for clients, many of whom are from Togo and have limited English-language ability. The complaint further alleges that in 2003, Totou claimed the federal fuel tax credit for all of his customers. The complaint alleged that none of his clients qualified for the tax credit as their businesses or purported businesses do not involve off-highway use of gasoline.

Since 2001, the Justice Department has obtained injunctions against more than 305 tax return preparers and tax-fraud promoters. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department Web site, as is information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division.