WASHINGTON - A federal judge in St. Louis has barred two St. Louis tax preparers and their businesses from certain conduct the Justice Department announced today. The order entered by Judge Richard E. Webber of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri bars Frank “Tiger” Zerjav Jr. from preparing tax returns and providing tax advice for three years, and permanently bars his father, Frank Zerjav Sr., from engaging in specified conduct.
The court order, to which the defendants consented, requires one of the Zerjavs’ businesses, The Advisory Group Inc., to be shut down by April 1, 2010. The Zerjavs’ other business, Zerjav & Co., is permanently barred from specified conduct.
Among the specified conduct enjoined is
- claiming business deductions for non-deductible personal expenses;
- improperly deducting restaurant meals, child care expenses and education expenses;
- changing customers’ accounting records without informing the customers of the changes;
- reporting compensation that is not reasonable or related to work performed; and
- claiming deductions for wages paid to children unless services are actually rendered and the wages are reasonable.
The court also imposed a five-year monitoring period during which a neutral monitor, who must be a licensed CPA or attorney, will annually at the defendants’ expense inspect and review a sample of tax returns prepared by defendants to ensure that the court’s order has not been violated.
John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, thanked Justice Department trial attorneys Michael Pahl, Michael Roessner, Martin Shoemaker and Natalie Sexsmith for handling the case. Mr. DiCicco also thanked Mark Stone and James Graczyk of the Internal Revenue Service’s Small Business/Self Employed Division, who conducted the investigation.
Since 2001, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained more than 460 injunctions against tax-fraud promoters and tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department Web site.