Mitchellville Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing False Tax Returns
Defrauded IRS of Over $500,000 in Taxes Due
Greenbelt, Maryland - Lugard A. Edokpayi, age 51, of Mitchellville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to filing false federal individual tax returns, and preparing and presenting false federal tax returns for his clients, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement, from 1990 to 2006 Edokpayi owned and operated a tax preparation business known as New Century Tax Services located in Hyattsville, Maryland. From 2002 to 2006 Edokpayi prepared and filed individual income tax returns on behalf of his clients falsely reporting deductions for education credits, charitable contributions, child and dependent care expenses, and unreimbursed business expenses. The tax loss resulting from this scheme is $137,611.
Additionally, for tax years 2003 through 2006, Edokpayi filed false personal income tax returns understating his gross income, resulting in a tax loss of $362,659.
The total tax loss arising out of Edokpayi’s conduct is $500,270.
“Taxpayers should choose carefully when hiring a tax preparer,” stated C. Andre' Martin, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns to defraud the government, the tax paying public and their own clients.”
Edokpayi faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each of the two counts. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for November 12, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Stuart A. Berman, who is prosecuting the case.