Florida Tax Return Preparers Indicted for Conspiring to Defraud the United States and Preparing False Income Tax Returns
A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida returned an indictment on July 28, which was unsealed today, charging two Florida income tax return preparers with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and nine counts each of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to allegations in the indictment, Earl Moise and Shahab Shaukat, both of Palm Beach County, Florida, conspired to prepare false and fraudulent individual income tax returns for others for the 2010 through 2012 tax years. Moise and Shaukat operated the Stuart, Florida branch of Tax R Us, preparing false returns inside that office. Additionally, Moise is charged with one count of fraudulently filing his own federal income tax return for 2011. It is alleged that these tax returns included false education and American Opportunity credits, as well as false statements regarding business income or deductions.
If convicted, Moise and Shaukat each face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and three years in prison for each count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. In addition, Moise faces a statutory maximum of three years in prison for the one count of filing a false tax return. Both defendants face terms of supervised release, monetary penalties, and the payment of restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Trial Attorneys Gregory P. Bailey and Michael Hatzimichalis of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.