FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2010
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FILES SIX LAWSUITS TO ENJOIN PREPARATION OF FRAUDULENT FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURNS
Return Preparers Allegedly Prepared Thousands of Federal Income Tax Returns
with Fraudulent Deductions & Credits Resulting in Millions in Lost Revenue to the U.S. Treasury
WASHINGTON – The United States this week filed five civil injunction lawsuits in Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago against several individuals and their tax preparation services, the Justice Department announced today. In December 2009, the government also filed a civil injunction suit against 12 individuals and entities in Providence, R.I. These lawsuits seek to enjoin individuals and entities from:
These defendants engage in a variety of schemes, all of which involve false deduction and credit claims, to fraudulently reduce their customers' federal income tax liabilities. For example, court filings in Rhode Island against Michael Brier, operating through Refunds Now Inc. and Refunds Now Tax Service Inc., allege that he prepared, or directed the preparation of over 24,000 customer tax returns containing fabricated charitable contributions and employee business expense deductions, inflated dependent exemptions, fraudulent earned income tax credit claims and false income and expense reporting relating to rental real estate. Court papers filed in Chicago against Sidney Dove, of Sid's Tax, allege that Dove tells customers that they are entitled to a charitable contribution deduction equal to 10 percent of their wages, regardless of whether they can substantiate their claim. Court papers filed in Chicago against Natalie Bradford and Kristine Burkland-Valdez, of K & N Tax Pros Inc., allege that defendants prepared and directed preparation of over 23,800 customer tax returns containing fabricated or falsified deductions such as employee business expenses, mileage, cash contributions, rental losses and medical expenses. All of these defendants' actions cause substantial revenue loss to the United States Treasury, much of which may be unrecoverable. In addition, their actions harm their customers because the customers pay the defendants to prepare their tax returns, and, after the fraud is detected, customers are responsible for paying all taxes, interest and penalties.
"The too-good-to-be-true results some return preparers tout are just that," said John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. "The IRS and Justice Department are working together closely to ensure that unscrupulous return preparers are shut down and their customers pay their correct federal tax liabilities. Taxpayers using these types of preparers, at best, are stuck with paying additional taxes and interest, and at worst, depending on culpability, may be subject to penalties and possibly even criminal prosecution."
"Filing a tax return is one of the biggest financial transactions an average American taxpayer makes each year," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "This week, the IRS announced a set of comprehensive recommendations to ensure people receive ethical, competent and professional advice when they use a tax return preparer. We want to make sure taxpayers don't pay good money for bad advice. That's why we're taking extra steps this tax season, and planning more actions in future years, to help make sure people can count on their tax return preparer."
Listed below are details of the six lawsuits, filed in the United States District Courts in the cities indicated:
Taxpayers and tax professionals who submit fraudulent tax returns to the IRS face substantial civil monetary penalties, as well as possible criminal prosecution. In the past decade the Justice Department has obtained injunctions against more than 435 tax-scheme promoters and tax preparers. Information about those cases is available on the Justice Department Web site, at http://www.justice.gov/tax/taxpress2010.htm.