FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES THREE GEORGIA TAX PREPARERS
TO HALT SLAVERY REPARATIONS TAX REFUND SCAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice filed two lawsuits in Georgia federal courts today to stop three different people from preparing clients' tax returns which claim bogus tax credits for slavery reparations. In one of the lawsuits, filed in Macon, Ga., the government alleges that Willie Haugabook of Montezuma, Ga., prepared more than 350 tax returns which claimed an estimated $18 million in slavery reparations. In the other lawsuit, filed in Augusta, Ga., the government states that Eddie and Erma Mims of Sylvania, Ga., prepared more than 70 tax returns which claimed almost $3 million in slavery reparations.
"The tax law does not allow credits or refunds for slavery reparations," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. "People who prepare returns claiming reparations are risking penalties and possible prosecution not only for themselves, but also for the people whose returns they prepare."
People hearing about tax benefits that sound "too good to be true" should check them out with a trusted tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service. Anyone with information about suspected tax fraud should report it to the IRS tip line at 1-800-829-0433.