Federal Court Shuts Down Chicago-Area Tax Return Preparer
WASHINGTON – A federal court has permanently barred a woman and her suburban Chicago business from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. In the civil injunction order, issued by Judge William J. Hibbler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the court found that LaShawn Littrice and her South Holland, Ill., business, Diamond Accounting & Financial Services, falsified and manufactured expenses and deductions, and made false claims for the earned income tax credit on their customers’ tax returns. The court also found that Littrice filed returns using another return preparer’s identification number without that preparer’s knowledge.
According to the court order, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examination of 718 tax returns prepared by Littrice and Diamond Accounting found tax deficiencies on all but 20 of those returns. In papers filed with the court, the government estimated tax losses of nearly $12 million from the defendants’ misconduct.
The court also noted that in June 2010, Littrice was convicted of 14 counts of willfully aiding or assisting in preparing and presenting false and fraudulent tax returns and was sentenced to 42 months in prison.
The IRS has listed return preparer fraud as one of its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2011. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop the promotion of tax fraud schemes and the preparation of fraudulent tax returns. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website .