News and Press Releases


January 14, 2005

BOUAVANH NORASINH, 43, of Everett, Washington, was sentenced to nine months in prison, followed by six months in a half-way house and three months of home confinement, for preparing false and fraudulent income tax returns. Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Lally asked U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour to impose the prison time so that NORASINH would "fully grasp the seriousness of his offense and the harm he inflicted on his own community."

NORASINH, a Laotian immigrant, sold his tax preparing services to other members of the Laotian community. He would often charge for his services based on the size of the tax refund. He increased the size of the refund by falsely listing deductions for medical expenses, taxes, charitable contributions and miscellaneous deductions. NORASINH prepared as many as 300 returns for multiple years, but did not sign and date the returns as required by a paid tax preparer. The Internal Revenue Service became suspicious when a whole group of unrelated Washington State taxpayer returns contained deductions for a state income tax – something that does not exist in Washington State. The IRS contacted the taxpayers and learned of NORASINH's tax preparation activities. Sadly, those taxpayers who trusted NORASINH now owe a total of $1.2 million in back taxes and some $600,000 in penalties and interest. The interest portion will continue to accrue until the debt is paid, creating a significant ongoing burden for many of these taxpayers already struggling with limited resources.

"Taxpayers should be as careful in choosing their tax return preparer as they would be in choosing their doctor or lawyer," said Sherree W. Preston, Special Agent in Charge of IRS, Criminal Investigation, for Washington and Alaska. "No matter who prepares your tax return, you the taxpayer, are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the information on your tax return."

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the IRS Small Business/ Self-Employed Unit and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patricia C. Lally.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206) 553-4110.

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