FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
COURT BARS LOUISIANA TAX RETURN PREPARERS
Two Lafayette Men Used Frivolous “Claim of Right” Scheme
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a federal court has barred Richard A. Fuselier and Richard J. Ortt and their organization, Compensation Consultants-all of Lafayette-from preparing tax returns for others and from promoting tax evasion schemes. In entering the preliminary injunction, Judge Tucker L. Melancon of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana also ordered the defendants to provide the government their customers’ names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and phone and Social Security numbers.
The court found that Fuselier and Ortt promote the “claim of right” and “not for profit” schemes, which are based on the false position that compensation or earnings cannot be taxed. The court found that the men promote their schemes through word-of-mouth and over the Internet, and charge customers $500 per year. The court also found that Fuselier and Ortt instruct customers to submit bogus tort claims against the government when it denies the customers’ tax refund requests.
“The Justice Department’s Tax Division is committed to stopping the promotion and use of tax fraud schemes,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. “People who fall for tax fraud schemes are enriching the promoters while buying themselves past due tax bills with interest, penalties, and the possibility of more serious legal consequences.”
The court also ordered Fuselier and Ortt to notify their customers of the injunction and post it on their websites. In addition the court barred the defendants from representing customers before the IRS.
More information about this case is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv04769.htm The frivolous “claim of right” scheme is on the IRS’s new list of “dirty dozen” tax scams: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=136337,00.html