Second man pleads guilty to preparing false tax returns
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2o13
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a man pleaded guilty to conspiring to file false tax returns after admitting he had used the identity information of several children to generate false dependents. Rotimi Williams specifically pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct the lawful functioning of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and four counts of identity theft. Williams, who was indicted along with Ayo Aseph on April 15, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Judge Paul A. Magnuson.
In his plea agreement, Williams admitted that from about April 15, 2008, through about April 15, 2011, he conspired with others to obstruct the IRS in its legal obligation to collect income taxes. During that time, Williams was in the business of preparing and filing federal and state income tax returns for clients, his main office located in Brooklyn, New York. Williams had several clients in Minnesota, including Aseph.
Williams, who had clients in Minnesota and New York, admitted to generating false tax returns for certain New York clients by adding the names, social security numbers, and birthdates of children who were not their dependents. Williams did this in order to lower the amount of federal taxes owed, and, thereby, qualify for refunds, by claiming additional dependents on their tax returns. The dependent information involved minors from Minnesota, and were added to certain New York clients’ tax returns.
On June 12, 2013, Williams’ co-defendant, Ayo Aseph, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. In his plea agreement, Aseph admitted that Williams prepared his tax returns starting in 2007, and that Williams was his employer until 2011. In 2008, Aseph, at Williams’ direction, obtained the identities of children not his own to claim on his income tax return for that year. Aseph admittedly gave his brother money in exchange for the identification information of two children that his brother knew. The identification information of a third child was also provided by one of Aseph’s co-workers. Those three children were claimed as dependents on Aseph’s 2009 tax return as well. And, for his 2010 tax return, one of the children as well as two other children were claimed as dependents.
For their crimes, both defendants face a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy. In addition, Williams faces a potential maximum penalty of 15 years on each count of identity theft. Judge Magnuson will determine their sentences at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Docherty.
According to the IRS, approximately 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare and file their tax returns, with these paid preparers now collectively responsible for more than 80 million individual tax returns annually. “Tax return preparer fraud” is one of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.” For more information about the fight against tax fraud or how to choose a reliable tax return preparer, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tips-for-Choosing-a-Tax-Return-Preparer.
Per U.S. Department of Justice policy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not allowed to provide the age and city of residence for defendants charged in criminal tax cases.
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