A federal court in Philadelphia has permanently barred Deron O. Joe of Darby, Pa.; Edmund G. Dassin of Lansdowne, Pa.; and James M. Tokpawhiea of Philadelphia from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The three men consented to the civil injunction order without admitting the allegations against them. Judge Paul S. Diamond of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania signed the injunction.
According to the government complaint in the case, the defendants operated a tax preparation business called Edron Tax Professionals in Philadelphia until August 2011, when they changed the name to Urban Tax Professionals and moved the office to Collingdale, Pa. The complaint alleged that the defendants, three Liberian nationals who prepared tax returns for primarily Liberian clientele, repeatedly prepared fraudulent federal income tax returns that intentionally understated customers’ tax liabilities. Their methods allegedly included claiming bogus first-time-homebuyer credits and earned-income credits in order to claim large tax refunds. According to the complaint, Joe and Dassin told one employee to claim the first-time-homebuyer credit on every return he prepared.
The court required the defendants to send a copy of the order to all persons for whom they have prepared a federal tax return since 2009, and to give the government a list of those customers.
In the last decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop tax fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax return preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website .