WASHINGTON – A federal court in Miami has permanently barred Alberto Camejo and his business, ABCY Star Service LLC, from claiming the First-Time Homebuyer Credit on returns they prepare unless ensuring that the taxpayer is entitled to claim the credit, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order, signed by Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, requires Camejo to notify his customers who claimed the Homebuyer Credit of the injunction order.
Congress enacted the First-Time Homebuyer Credit in 2008 to strengthen the real estate market and help the economy. It allowed persons who have not owned a home in the previous three years to claim a credit of up to $8,000 against their federal income taxes if they bought a home after April 8, 2008. The credit was expanded to allow, under certain conditions, current homeowners to claim the credit for a purchase of a new home. But in order for a taxpayer to claim the credit a home must have actually been purchased. The credit is not available to buyers who entered into a contract after April 30, 2010.
The government complaint in the case had alleged that Camejo claimed the credit on customers’ returns even though the customers had not purchased new homes.
This is the latest of several cases the government has filed in Florida to stop preparers who have allegedly abused the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Last April a federal court in Miami permanently barred a man from preparing returns for others in a case where the Justice Department alleged abuse of the homebuyer credit and other tax law provisions.
Over the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop tax fraud promoters and dishonest tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.