THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS TO BAR MISSISSIPPI MAN FROM PREPARING INCOME TAX RETURNS FOR OTHERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today asked a federal court to bar Ray Robert Ladner, a tax return preparer from Pass Christian, Mississippi, from preparing income tax returns for others. The civil injunction suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, in Gulfport, alleges that Ladner prepared a variety of fraudulent income tax returns. The government also seeks an order directing Ladner to provide the government his customers’ names, telephone and Social Security numbers, and mailing and e-mail addresses.
According to the complaint, Ladner, operating under the names Professional Accounting Services, Inc., Professional Associates, Inc., Ladner’s Accounting Service Inc., Express Refund Tax Service, and Coast Accounting & Tax Service, Inc., prepared returns improperly claiming deductions for fabricated charitable contributions, business losses, expenses, and improperly claiming the earned income tax credit. The complaint projects that returns Ladner is believed to have prepared for the 2002 and 2003 tax years may have cost the United States Treasury more than $1.8 million.
The government also accuses Ladner of improperly preparing returns by fraudulently using the names and Social Security numbers of his customers and their minor children. In one instance, Ladner allegedly claimed fraudulent dependent exemptions on a customer’s return using the names and Social Security numbers of other customers’ children. The government also accuses Ladner of fabricating income for a customer who had none in order to claim the earned income tax credit, a benefit that is available under some circumstances to low-income working people. Then, Ladner allegedly had the resulting improper tax refund paid to him, rather than to the customer whose return he prepared.
“People who prepare fraudulent tax returns cheat their customers and unfairly shift the tax burden to honest American taxpayers,” said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “If you have your tax return prepared, choose your preparer carefully, and be sure that what you file with the IRS is truthful.”
The government’s complaint is part of an ongoing crackdown on fraudulent return preparers. The Justice Department has filed numerous lawsuits seeking injunctions against return preparers who prepare false or fraudulent federal tax returns. More information about these cases is available at <http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2005.htm>. More information about the Tax Division is available at: <http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/index.html>.