WOODBURY TAX PREPARER PLEADS GUILTY
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that THOMAS THORNDIKE, 62, of Milford, pleaded guilty today before Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to one count of aiding and assisting the preparation of a false federal income tax return and one count of willfully filing a false return. THORNDIKE, a Woodbury-based tax preparer, was charged in superseding indictment with multiple tax offenses and a trial in this matter began today. THORNDIKE pleaded guilty after opening statements.
According to court documents and statements made in court, 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.
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. THORNDIKE also prepared tax returns for his two sons that improperly identified cash payments from him to his children as wages.
In addition, THORNDIKE claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper business deductions, including, but not limited to, wage expenses for his children, which actually were personal payments to them; more than $8,000 in personal carpentry work; and a $27,983 “sale of business property” loss stemming from THORNDIKE’s selling of an engagement ring after his marriage engagement had broken off.
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.
Chief Judge Thompson has scheduled sentencing for January 3, 2013, at which time THORNDIKE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of six years.
This case has been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Mattei and Eric Glover.
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