A federal district judge in the Atlanta Division for the Northern District of Georgia permanently barred Joan Leger and her company from preparing federal income tax returns for others on Jan. 31, 2014, the Justice Department announced today. The judgment also requires Leger to send copies of the permanent injunction to her customers.
Leger, who resides in Stone Mountain, Ga., is a paid tax preparer who does business through The 1804 Tax Group Inc. and Liberty Tax Service, and previously did business through J & Company. The complaint alleges that since 2009, Leger, through her companies, has prepared almost 6,000 tax returns. Leger allegedly understated her customers’ tax liabilities and overstated their refunds by creating or inflating deductions, wages, income, expenses or credits in order to maximize the earned income tax credit, as well as wrongly claimed other credits and deductions. Leger’s practices include fabricating losses for non-existent businesses or businesses not owned and operated by the taxpayer, falsely claiming unreimbursed business expenses and falsely claiming the educational tax credit. Altogether, the complaint alleges that Leger’s activities may have resulted in a loss of more than $2 million to the U.S. Treasury. Leger and The 1804 Tax Group consented to the entry of the injunction.
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2013. The Internal Revenue Service has tips for choosing a tax preparer: www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Choosing-a-Tax-Professional. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.