A federal court has permanently barred Nafeesah H. Hines and Rodney N. Chestnut from promoting an alleged tax fraud scheme, as well as preparing tax returns for anyone other than themselves, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction orders, to which Hines and Chestnut consented without admitting the allegations against them, were entered by Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
According to the government complaint in the case, Hines and Chestnut promoted and personally participated in a scheme based on the frivolous “redemption” theory, which promoters falsely claim allows taxpayers to obtain funds from supposed secret Treasury accounts. The government alleged that Hines and Chestnut used Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms, including Forms 1099-OID and 1099-A, to report large amounts of fictitious income tax withholding to claim large tax refunds on customer tax returns prepared by Chestnut or prepared by the customers with Chestnut’s help.
Chestnut, the government alleges, is a former captain with the New York City Corrections Department and promoted the scheme to former co-workers. Hines, who the complaint alleges is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration employee, prepared or filed false 1099 forms with the IRS, both for Chestnut’s customers as well as for other people, according to the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that Hines prepared or filed more than 3,000 fraudulent IRS forms that falsely reported over $54 million of purportedly withheld income taxes.
Claiming bogus tax refunds based on false 1099 Forms is one of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” tax scams . In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .