FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TO SHUT DOWN
ALLEGED OHIO TAX-FRAUD SCHEME
Cleveland Twins Allegedly Help Customers Evade Taxes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a civil injunction suit in federal court in Cleveland to stop Ohio twin brothers, Joseph and Edward Flickinger, from promoting alleged tax-fraud schemes. The suit also asks the court to permanently bar the Flickinger brothers from preparing federal income tax returns for others.
In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the government alleges that the Flickinger brothers helped customers submit false and frivolous documents to their employers to stop tax withholding from wages on the baseless theory that income earned in the United States is not taxable. The lawsuit alleges that Joseph Flickinger prepared approximately 384 zero tax returns, which falsely listed the number zero on all lines for reporting items of income or deductions, except for the lines claiming refunds. These zero tax returns claimed refunds totaling more than $2 million. According to the complaint, Joseph Flickinger pleaded guilty last April to criminal tax charges.
“The Justice Department and the IRS are working tirelessly to stop the promotion of fraudulent tax schemes,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
The lawsuit asks the Court to order the Flickinger brothers to give the Justice Department a list of their customers’ names, mailing and e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers, and telephone numbers.
Since 2001, the Justice Department has sought and obtained injunctions against more than 120 tax-scam promoters. Information about these cases is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2005.htm. Information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.