The United States filed two lawsuits to shut down three tax preparers in Prince George’s County, Md., the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction complaints were filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md. One suit names Tonya Hubbard and her Lanham, Md.-based tax preparation business, Universal Tax Service LLC, as defendants. The other suit was filed against Hubbard’s ex-husband, Marvin Binion Sr., and his son, Marvin Binion II. The complaint alleges that the son owns and operates Marvin Binion’s Universal Tax & Immigration Service in Hyattsville, Md.
The government complaints allege that the defendants prepare fraudulent tax returns for customers containing bogus deductions for items like charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee business expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses. According to the suit Binion Sr., pleaded guilty in 2007 to filing 13 false federal income tax returns and was later convicted of making false declarations to a federal court in connection with that criminal tax case. The suit alleges that Binion Sr. was released from prison in May 2012.
The lawsuits allege that Hubbard, Universal Tax Service LLC and the Binions violate federal law by not signing the returns they prepare for customers and by not placing IRS preparer tax identification numbers on the returns. All tax preparers are required to place an IRS-issued tax preparer identification number on every federal income tax return they prepare for a customer.
According to the complaints the defendants prepare customer returns using Turbo Tax software, place the returns in postage paid, pre-addressed envelopes and instruct customers to sign and mail the returns to the IRS on their own. The suits allege that defendants do this to hide from the IRS their role in preparing the returns.
The government alleges that Hubbard, Binion Sr. and Binion II generally charge customers a tax return preparation fee of $300 and that the Binions may have earned as much as $30,000 per day preparing fraudulent returns.
The Internal Revenue Service has listed tax preparer fraud as one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams . The Justice Department has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax return preparers and tax-fraud promoters in the past ten years. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .