WASHINGTON – A federal court has permanently barred Gerald A. Poynter II of Kansas City, Mo., from preparing federal tax returns for others and from promoting a fraudulent tax scam, the Justice Department announced today.
The court found that Poynter, who uses the business name “Jerry Love Ministries” prepares false Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms to help his customers claim fraudulent tax refunds based on phony reporting of large income tax withholding. The court order states that Poynter’s scheme is a version of the repeatedly rejected “redemption” scheme used by tax defiers to evade tax obligations or obtain wrongful financial benefits. According to the court, proponents of that scheme claim that the U.S. government is in possession of money rightfully owned by taxpayers. The court found that Poynter told his customers that he could recover that money for them for a fee, and that he then generated fraudulent IRS forms to support false tax refund claims on their behalf.
According to the court, Poynter helped at least 165 customers make fraudulent refund claims totaling more than $64 million. The IRS catches the vast majority of false “redemption” claims, and civil and criminal penalties for taxpayers who file such claims can be severe.
The IRS recently advised taxpayers to beware of tax scams like return preparer fraud. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions against tax-fraud promoters and dishonest tax return preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .