WASHINGTON – Ranti Azeez-Taiwo of Staten Island, N.Y., was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Azeez-Taiwo was also ordered to pay $24,802 in restitution. On Sept. 30, 2013, a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York convicted Azeez-Taiwo of 16 counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns for clients.
According to evidence introduced at trial, the defendant operated a tax preparation business called Lot Associates Inc., located in Staten Island. Evidence showed that the defendant aided, advised and prepared false individual income tax returns for clients during the 2006 through 2010 tax years. These false individual income tax returns claimed unreimbursed employee expenses and charitable donations that taxpayers testified the defendant claimed on their returns without the taxpayers' knowledge. Several taxpayers testified they paid fines and interest to the IRS as a result of the false income tax returns Azeez-Taiwo had prepared and submitted to the IRS.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Mark Kotila and Mark McDonald of the Tax Division.