States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 21, 2011||
WOODBURY TAX PREPARER CHARGED WITH PREPARING FALSE RETURNS, OBSTRUCTING IRS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned an indictment charging THOMAS THORNDIKE, 60, of Milford, with 15 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of a false federal income tax return, and one count of obstruction of the administration of the Internal Revenue laws.
The indictment was returned on March 17 and was unsealed today following THORNDIKES’ arrest and arraignment before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport.
According to the indictment, THORNDIKE was the founder and owner of Cornerstone Financial Services of Woodbury, LLC (“CFS”), a tax preparation and financial services business. As the owner of CFS, THORNDIKE prepared federal tax returns for individuals and businesses in exchange for payment of a fee. THORNDIKE also offered individuals to whom he provided tax preparation services an opportunity to purchase audit insurance. Purchasers of audit insurance could elect to be represented by THORNDIKE in connection with any Internal Revenue Service audit of their individual federal income tax returns.
The indictment alleges that, in the course of preparing many of his clients’ tax returns, THORNDIKE improperly reduced the amount of tax due in a variety of ways, including falsely claiming deductions for charitable contributions, and falsely claiming deductions for job expenses.
The indictment further alleges that, in December 2008, the IRS notified THORNDIKE that he was the subject of an IRS audit examining his preparation of tax returns for the tax years 2006 and 2007. In connection with the audit, THORNDIKE assisted in the preparation of, and then submitted to the IRS, falsified documents to support the false deductions claimed on tax returns that were subject to the audit.
After THORNDIKE entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, he was released on a $400,000 bond secured by property.
If convicted, THORNDIKE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $250,000, on each count.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Glover and Christopher Mattei.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
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