Beltsville Tax Preparer Sentenced for Making False Claims on His Own Tax Returns and Assisting in the Preparation of Fraudulent Returns for Others
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Eric B. Morton, age 43, of Beltsville, Maryland, today to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for false claims and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Williams also ordered Morton to pay restitution of $29,256 to the IRS.
”While most tax return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file fraudulent returns to defraud the government, the tax-paying public and their own clients,” stated C. Andre' Martin, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge “IRS-Criminal Investigation is determined to stop these false tax refund schemes."
According to his guilty plea, Morton prepared and electronically filed with the IRS more than 30 false federal individual income tax returns for more than a dozen taxpayers, for tax years 2001 through 2004. These tax returns claimed withholdings, credits, and deductions to which the taxpayers were not entitled, including: the withholding of federal income taxes that were never withheld; deductions for mortgage interest payments that were never made; deductions for gifts to charity that were never made; deductions for employee business expenses that were never incurred; deductions for business losses that were never incurred; and credits and deductions for education expenses that were never incurred.
Morton also admitted that he claimed fraudulent tax refunds on his own individual income tax returns for tax years 2001 through 2004, knowing that those claims were false. For example, for the tax year 2003 Morton filed a tax return that claimed withholding of federal income taxes that were never withheld and deductions to which he was not entitled. As a result, Morton claimed a refund of $12,721, knowing that he was only due a refund of $1,038.
The total tax loss attributable to Morton is approximately $226,000.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Steven M. Dunne, who prosecuted the case.