WASHINGTON - A federal court has permanently barred John Lewis, Artels James and Perry Wright from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order was entered by U.S. Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins for the Northern District of Alabama.
The court found that the three men, working under the trade name “Tax World” in Birmingham, Ala., regularly and repeatedly prepared federal tax returns using at least one of three schemes to generate erroneously large tax refunds for their customers. According to the court, in two of the schemes they prepared tax returns with false or overstated claims for the earned income tax credit, and in the third scheme they created fictitious business deductions that falsely reduced their customers’ tax liabilities. The court also found that Lewis, James and Wright failed to identify themselves properly on the returns they prepared under the “Tax World” business name.
The court ordered Lewis, James and Wright to present a copy of the injunction order to each of their customers since Jan. 1, 2008, and to produce a list of their customers to the government. The court also stated that a failure to obey the order may be punished by criminal contempt.
In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop tax fraud promoters and preparers of false tax returns. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website: www.justice.gov/tax/taxpress2011.htm.