News and Press Releases

Tax Return Preparer Charged With Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Seward, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent individual income tax returns and corrupt endeavor to obstruct or impede the due administration of Internal Revenue Laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton and IRS‑Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski, announced today.

The 40‑count indictment named Larry E. Snow as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, during the period from April 15, 2005, to April 15, 2009, Snow assisted in the preparation of 36 false and fraudulent income tax returns, for 10 different sets of taxpayers. Moreover, during the period from Jan. 14, 2009, through June 7, 2010, Snow is alleged to have obstructed justice by telling two taxpayers and an undercover agent to lie to the IRS regarding tax returns Snow had prepared.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence (at each of the 40 counts) of three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, one year supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Mr. Hickton and Agent Jankowski caution taxpayers to be careful of various tax schemes and scams. IRS.gov contains a wealth of information including great tips to help choose an honest return preparer as well as information on the return preparer initiative.

"Return preparer fraud is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation and we have committed many resources to investigating and prosecuting these types of cases," said Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, IRS‑Criminal Investigation‑Pittsburgh Field Office. "Taxpayers should be very selective in choosing a return preparer, and have confidence knowing that person will prepare accurate tax returns and safeguard their financial information."

"As the tax filing due date draws near, those who might consider committing tax fraud should be aware of the extremely negative consequences of their actions," added Mr. Hickton. "Criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Laws will ultimately lead to more than just paying the tax, but the strong possibility of paying a higher price by going to prison."

Assistant United States Attorney Leo M. Dillon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service ‑ Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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