FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT HALTS PREPARATION OF FRAUDULENT TAX RETURNS
Norfolk Return Preparer Ordered to Notify Customers, Produce Records
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a federal court has ordered a Norfolk-based tax-return preparer, Ronald M. Green, to stop preparing federal tax returns for customers and to stop representing customers before the IRS. The court found that Green, who does business under the names “Peoples Rights Trusted Tax Services” and “Economic Empowerment for All People,” prepares fraudulent federal tax returns for his customers.
The order - a preliminary injunction entered by Judge Henry Morgan, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia - will remain in effect until the court issues a final order in the case. It requires Green to notify his customers of the injunction and to provide the Justice Department the names, addresses, phone numbers, and tax identification numbers of all his customers. It also requires that he provide the Justice Department with copies of all federal tax returns he has prepared since January 1, 1999.
According to the order, while most of Green's customers are in the Tidewater area of Virginia, others are in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Arizona, and California.
“The Justice Department is taking legal action across the country to stop unscrupulous return preparers from cheating honest American taxpayers,” said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. “People who prepare or file false or fraudulent federal returns are risking substantial civil penalties and possible criminal prosecution.”
The court order states that Green improperly reduces or eliminates his customers' reported income tax liabilities by deducting non-deductible personal expenses, such as cable television and telephone bills. According to the order, Green claims the deductions on tax returns for trusts that either do not exist at all or are sham trusts lacking economic substance. The court noted that the IRS has thus far identified tax losses to the U.S. Treasury totaling $744,679 from returns Green prepared, plus an additional $979,135.86 in improperly claimed tax refunds. The injunction order also found that Green has obstructed IRS audits of his customers and has, on at least one occasion, attempted to intimidate an IRS employee.
More information about this case is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/prtax/txdv04374.htm. Tax scams involving the misuse of trusts top the IRS's list of the “Dirty Dozen” tax frauds for 2004, which is available at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=120803,00.html. Information about the Tax Division is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/index.html.