| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT SHUTS DOWN SOUTH FLORIDA TAX PREPARER
Fort Lauderdale Judge Permanently Bars Felon from Preparing Federal Tax Returns
WASHINGTON – A federal court in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has permanently barred a Broward County man from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. Jayvon Copeland, who last month pleaded guilty in a criminal case to conspiracy to defraud the United States, consented to the injunction order without admitting the allegations in the civil complaint filed against him last April.
According to the civil complaint, filed in the U.S. District for the Southern District of Florida, Copeland used stolen identities to prepare and file fraudulent tax returns claiming tax refunds that Copeland kept for himself. A September 2012 report by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said that Florida has the highest rate of stolen identity tax refund fraud in the United States.
The complaint also alleged that Copeland fraudulently boosted tax refunds for his return-preparation customers by making false claims for the first-time homebuyer credit, reporting phony business expenses, claiming false education expenses, and fabricating income to inflate customers’ earned-income tax credits.
The court’s injunction order also shuts down two tax-return preparation businesses, Taxologist Inc. and Taxes in Miami Gardens LLC.
The court previously barred two of Copeland’s co-defendants in the civil injunction suit, Kisha Andrews and Brandon Johnson, from preparing federal tax returns. The injunction suit is still pending against the other two co-defendants, Aundrea Luc and James Daniels.
Copeland is awaiting sentencing for his criminal conspiracy guilty plea.
In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax-fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax return preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department web site.