WASHINGTON – The United States has filed suit seeking to bar a Detroit man from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
According to the complaint, Shawn Robin Gibson operates businesses that provide tax return preparation services under the names New Detroit Tax Service and Shawn Gibson & Company. The government complaint alleges that Gibson prepared federal income tax returns claiming inflated deductions and credits for his customers resulting in an understatement of their customers’ tax liabilities.
The government also asserts in the complaint that Gibson directed many of his customers’ tax refunds to be deposited into his bank account or one of his businesses’ bank accounts. Alternatively, according to the complaint, Gibson would direct the customer’s tax refund to be sent to his address and then arrange to have the customer meet him or one of his associates to cash the refund check and then remit a refund to the customer that was smaller than that claimed on the federal tax return submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The government also contends in the complaint that Gibson, in order to obtain additional federal tax refunds to which he was not entitled, allegedly forged power of attorney forms with the IRS. It’s alleged he did this to obtain taxpayer information to file amended returns, claiming refunds and changing the taxpayer’s address so that he received the tax refund without the taxpayer’s knowledge.
Gibson is currently incarcerated after he pleaded guilty in November 2006 to one count of conspiring to impede, obstruct and defeat the lawful functions of the IRS. In addition, in July 2008 Gibson pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent income tax returns in a second criminal case. He is scheduled to be sentenced in that matter in December 2008.
"The IRS and Justice Department are committed to putting fraudulent return preparers out of business," said Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. "Since 2001, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against more than 360 tax-return preparers and tax-fraud promoters."
Information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.