FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS TO HALT TAX FRAUD SCHEME
TARGETED AT IMMIGRANTS FROM BOSNIA
Defendant Allegedly Recently Moved Business From Illinois To Texas
WASHINGTON, D.C. -The Justice Department today asked an Illinois federal court to bar Angelique Lee Tinder-who recently moved from Rockford, Illinois to Houston, Texas-from preparing federal income tax returns for others. The government’s suit also seeks the names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone and Social Security numbers of Tinder’s customers.
The civil injunction suit, filed in Rockford in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Tinder improperly promises customers that she can obtain large tax refunds by preparing and filing amended tax returns for them. The complaint alleges that many of Tinder’s customers are Bosnian immigrants located across the Midwest in Rockford and Loves Park, Illinois; suburbs around Minneapolis, Minnesota; in Des Moines, Waterloo, and Dubuque, Iowa; and in Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to the complaint, Tinder falsely tells her Bosnian-immigrant customers that they can claim as dependents persons in their home country to whom they send support payments.
“People who prepare false or fraudulent returns are cheating honest taxpayers and creating legal problems for their customers,” said Eileen J. O=Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The Justice Department is committed to stopping the activities of return preparers who provide false advice to vulnerable customers, such as immigrants.”
Tinder, who used the business name “Your Tax Master” in Rockford, and now uses the name “Angeliques Your Tax Master” in Houston, allegedly prepared hundreds of amended tax returns for customers, charging them between $35 and $40 per return. In addition to providing false advice about dependents, returns she prepared improperly claimed refunds for customers based on fictitious or inflated deductions for charitable contributions, education credits, and business and medical expenses, according to the complaint.
The government’s complaint is part of an ongoing crackdown on return preparers who are giving false advice. 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/taxpress2004.htm and http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2005.htm. More information about the Tax Division is available at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/index.html.