FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TO HALT ALLEGED FRAUDULENT TAX RETURN OPERATION IN MISSISSIPPI
Defendants Allegedly Secure Fraudulent Refunds For Customers By Claiming Improper Deductions and Dependents on Customers Returns
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today asked the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to permanently bar Lenardo Carzette Brown and his wife Adriann Steen-Brown, both of Cleveland, Mississippi, from operating a federal tax return preparation business. The governments complaint alleges that Brown and Steen-Brown operate their business under the names PPH Enterprises and PP&H at locations in Cleveland, Clarksdale, Rosedale, Ruleville, and Tunica all in Mississippi.
The government alleges that in preparing customers tax returns, the defendants employees list false and/or unsubstantiated deductions, fabricate businesses for the false reporting of self employment income, and falsely claim dependents. The complaint estimates that Brown and Steen-Browns alleged fraudulent tax preparation scheme has resulted in an understatement of their customers federal income tax liability of more than $14 million for returns that their business prepared and filed for the 2000 through 2002 tax years.
People who prepare false returns or claims for refund are cheating not just the federal treasury, but all law-abiding taxpayers, said Eileen J. OConnor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Departments Tax Division. The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are working methodically to halt the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns.
The complaint also seeks an order requiring the defendants to provide the Justice Department the names, Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of their customers.
More information about the Justice Departments Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.