FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
MARCH 26, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ADELPHI TAX PREPARER INDICTED IN FIVE YEAR SCHEME TO
FILE FALSE CORPORATE TAX RETURNS
Indictment Alleges False Claims of $750,288 in Fuel Tax Credits on 17 Tax Returns
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted tax preparer Cynthia Poakwa, age 58, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today in a scheme to falsely inflate and claim tax credits and deductions on corporate tax returns, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the 26-count indictment, Poakwa owned and operated Elite Tax Consultants, Inc. located in Adelphi, Maryland. Poakwa falsely represented to clients that she was a certified public accountant. From 1999 to 2004 Poadwa is alleged to have prepared and assisted in preparing corporate returns for trucking companies claiming a tax credit for fuel used to operate tractor trailers on highways, knowing that the fuel tax credit did not apply to such use of fuel. The returns also overstated the amount of fuel claimed in fuel tax credits in order to fraudulently inflate the value of the tax credit, and claimed deductions for fictitious expenses. In 17 tax returns filed with the IRS, $750,288 of fuel tax credits were falsely claimed.
Poakwa faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison followed by one year of supervised release for each of the 17 counts of aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns; and five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for each of the nine counts of mail fraud.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Tiao and Bryan Foreman, who are prosecuting the case.