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Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Federal Court Shuts Down North Carolina Tax Preparer

WASHINGTON -- A federal court has permanently barred Raymond A. Renfrow of Elm City, N.C., from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina entered the civil injunction order, which also stops Renfrow from promoting a tax fraud scheme that used sham trusts to falsely deduct customers’ non-deductible personal expenses. The court found that Renfrow prepared tax returns for customers that have caused an estimated loss to the U.S. Treasury of more than $1.4 million.

The court said that Renfrow’s false tax returns were based on three tax schemes he promoted for Concept Marketing International (CMI), a company that operated a multi-level marketing scheme involving the sale of American Eagle silver coins. The court stated that the tax schemes falsely purported to enable participants to take tax deductions for the cost of coins they bought, to deduct non-deductible personal living expenses, and to use sham trusts to exempt income and assets from taxation.

James E. Aldridge Jr., a founder of CMI, was found guilty of tax-related criminal charges in 2007 by a federal jury in Kansas City, Mo. He is currently serving a prison sentence.

The court found that CMI’s trust scheme was promoted in conjunction with Trust Education Services and National Trust Services. Information on injunctions involving those businesses is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/prtax/txdv03332.htm and http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv04081.htm.

The court also required Renfrow to give the Justice Department a list of his customers’ names, addresses, e-mail addresses and Social Security numbers.

John DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, thanked former Tax Division trial attorney Frederick Noyes, who handled the case for the government, and Kathy A. Grimaldi, a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service’s Small Business/Self-Employed Division, who investigated the case.

Over the past decade, the Justice Department has obtained injunctions against more than 380 tax return preparers and tax-fraud promoters. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department Web site.

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