FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
TOLEDO RADIO TALK-SHOW HOST RETURNS ERRONEOUS TAX REFUNDS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice filed papers today in federal court in Ohio acknowledging that Dennis R. Schaffer, a Toledo, Ohio, radio talk-show host, has returned tax refunds that were erroneously paid to him by the Internal Revenue Service. The government had earlier filed a lawsuit against Schaffer to recover the tax refunds, which totaled nearly $4,500.
According to the suit, Schaffer filed false claims for income tax refunds based on a scheme promoted on his radio show by Alfred Abdo, Jr., who was at that time a North Carolina tax return preparer. Soon after the lawsuit was filed, Schaffer announced on his radio show and on a local TV show that he would return the money to the government.
"This case is another example of why people should trust their skepticism when things seem too good to be true," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. "The Department of Justice is taking action to stop fraudulent tax schemes and recover refunds paid in error."
Abdo appeared on Schaffer's show on WVKS FM in Toledo, and falsely claimed that social security taxes should be excluded from income. He also prepared the false claims, which resulted in the issuance of the erroneous tax refunds to Schaffer. In 2001, a federal court in North Carolina ordered Abdo to stop promoting or preparing returns based on the scheme.
This case is part of the Justice Department's ongoing initiative to stop the promotion of fraudulent tax schemes. To that end, the Department is obtaining numerous injunctions against promoters of such fraudulent schemes and has filed several actions to recover erroneous refunds that resulted from them.