News

Hyattsville Tax Preparer Sentenced to Over 3 Years For Filing False Tax Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 11, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Marvin L. Binion, age 59, of Hyattsville, Maryland, today to 38 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and ordered Binion to pay a fine of $60,000, following Binion’s agreement on the eve of trial to plead guilty to13 counts of aiding and assisting in the filing of false income tax returns, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his plea agreement, from 1997 to about 2001, Binion owned and operated Universal Tax Services, a tax return preparation business located in Hyattsville, Maryland. He reduced client taxpayer liability by fabricating or inflating expenses claimed on their tax returns, including: charitable contributions; employee business expenses; and miscellaneous expenses such as tax advice, investment counseling and job search expenses. Binion created false charitable contribution receipts to support the fabricated expenses. He also routinely overstated cash and non-cash contributions well in excess of the amounts his clients reported to him. He identified numerous clients on tax forms as being self-employed when the clients were not self-employed and never claimed to be.

Under this scheme, Binion caused the preparation of federal tax returns which contained over $387,000 in tax deductions which Binion knew the taxpayers were not entitled to claim. These false deductions and expenses resulted in his clients receiving substantially larger refunds than the clients were entitled to receive.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for its investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman, who prosecuted the case.

 

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