Justice Department Shuts Down Maryland Return Preparer
Prince George’s County, Md., Man Prepared Tax Returns That Falsely Reported Losses
A federal court has granted the United States’ request to permanently bar James M. Unterreiner II from preparing tax returns, the Justice Department announced today. According to the government complaint, from 2002 until 2003, Unterreiner worked for Tax Resolutions Inc., where he assisted owner Irvin H. Catlett Jr. and others in marketing a tax evasion scheme in which Tax Resolutions’ clients made investments in various sham companies and reported bogus tax losses. Unterreiner consented to the injunction.
As the Justice Department previously announced , testimony heard at Catlett’s nine-day criminal trial in 2010 showed that Tax Resolutions prepared fraudulent tax returns for its clients that included fictitious business losses which Tax Resolutions falsely claimed resulted from automobile leasing and sales. The fake losses reduced the amount of taxable income and total tax reported by Tax Resolutions’ clients. As a result, the clients falsely claimed refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Testimony at that trial also showed that Unterreiner assisted Catlett and helped perpetuate the scheme by preparing client tax returns by first determining each client’s tax and then adding to the return a fictitious loss from a tax shelter entity large enough to reduce the client’s tax due to zero. Unterreiner continued the scheme even after Catlett was imprisoned on other charges. As a result of the scheme, approximately 275 tax returns were filed with the IRS which reported bogus losses, resulting in a tax loss to the United States in excess of $3 million.
In addition to barring Unterreiner from preparing tax returns for life, the injunction also bars Unterreiner from representing others before the IRS, as well as the a dvising, assisting, counseling, or instruction of anyone about the preparation of any federal income tax return.