FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
COURT BARS OHIO MENS FRAUDULENT TAX SCHEMES
Canton-Area Men Also Permanently Banned From Preparing Income-Tax Returns for Customers
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Akron, Ohio has permanently barred James L. Binge and Terrence A. Bentivegna from selling or promoting tax fraud schemes. The court also permanently barred the two men from preparing income tax returns for customers and from representing customers before the IRS. The court found that the two Canton-area men prepared income tax returns that hid customers income and claimed improper deductions. They also sold sham trusts and falsely advised customers that they need not report income earned within the United States.
The order notes that Binges and Bentivegnas improper activities cost the Treasury an estimated $18.9 million. Binge and Bentivegna consented to the order, which also stated that the two men had engaged in fraudulent and deceptive conduct and that they knew or had reason to know that their statements to customers about the tax schemes were false.
The permanent injunction, ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, follows a preliminary injunction the same court entered in September. As required by the earlier order, the two men gave the Justice Department a list of their customers names, addresses and phone numbers.
The Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service are working methodically to stop the promotion of tax scams and the preparation of fraudulent returns, said Eileen J. OConnor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Departments Tax Division. She thanked Robert D. Metcalfe, the Justice Department trial attorney who handled the case, and the agents of the IRSs Small Business/Self-Employed Division who investigated it. Additional information about the case is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv04658.htm.
The Justice Department has sought and obtained injunctions against a number of tax-scam promoters and fraudulent-return preparers. Information about these cases is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2004.htm. Information about the Justice Department's Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.