FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS TO STOP TWO CALIFORNIANS FROM PREPARING TAX RETURNS FOR OTHERS
Lawsuits Say Los Angeles Men Falsely Tell Customers
That Californians Do Not Have To Pay Federal Income Tax
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a federal court to bar two Los Angeles men, James L. Tolbert (also known as James Tolbert Bey) and Michael Muhammad (also known as Michael Eugene Wall and Michael Muta Ali Muhammad), from preparing federal income tax returns for others. The government’s complaints in the two civil injunction lawsuits-filed in Los Angeles with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California-allege that Tolbert and Muhammad prepare for their customers federal income tax returns that fraudulently report no tax liability. The two lawsuits also ask the court to order Tolbert and Muhammad to give the Justice Department their customers’ names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone and Social Security numbers.
According to the complaints, Tolbert and Muhammad falsely promote a variety of frivolous schemes, including schemes contending that the United States includes only the District of Columbia and federal territories and that compensation for labor does not constitute income under tax laws. Federal courts across the country have repeatedly rejected this and similar claims as frivolous. The complaint against Tolbert alleges that he trained others, including Muhammad, on how to improperly prepare tax returns.
“The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are working energetically to halt the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns,” said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. “Fraudulent tax return preparers not only cheat the IRS, but also cheat their customers by exposing them to possible civil and criminal penalties.”
The suits are part of an ongoing crackdown on return preparers who prepare fraudulent returns. The government 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 <taxpress2005.htm>. More information about the Tax Division is available at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/index.html <taxpress2005.htm>.