WASHINGTON - Following a four-day trial and less than an hour of deliberations, a federal jury today convicted tax return preparer, Marcel J. Toto-Ngosso, of Silver Spring, Md., of 17 counts of preparing false tax returns in connection with a scheme to generate fraudulent tax refunds for client-taxpayers, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
According to the indictment and evidence introduced during trial, Toto-Ngosso ran a tax preparation business out of his home, located on East Shaw Avenue in Silver Spring. Toto-Ngosso prepared false tax returns for clients for tax years 2001 through 2006 which claimed numerous fraudulent deductions including false dependents, inflated charitable contributions, fraudulent un-reimbursed employee expenses and other false and fraudulent deductions to which Toto-Ngosso knew his clients were not entitled.
Evidence was also introduced that Toto-Ngosso purchased the names and Social Security numbers of individuals, which he later sold to his clients for $500 to $800 per dependent. Toto-Ngosso used these names and Social Security numbers on the false tax returns in order to secure larger refunds for his clients.
At trial, the government introduced evidence that after Toto-Ngosso learned he was under investigation by the IRS, he instructed his clients to lie about the information that he reported on their tax returns.
U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled sentencing for Sept. 21, 2009. Toto-Ngosso was detained pending sentencing. He faces a maximum of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of conviction.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco of the Justice Department’s Tax Division commended the IRS Criminal Investigation special agents who investigated the case as well as Tax Division trial attorneys Jorge Almonte and Tino Lisella who prosecuted the case. Acting Assistant Attorney General DiCicco also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greenbelt, Maryland for their assistance.