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Press Release

Former Certified Public Accountant Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former certified public accountant in Georgia was sentenced to seven months in prison today after pleading guilty in February to one count of filing a false tax return, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney John A. Horn for the Northern District of Georgia.

According to court documents and information presented in court, Thomas D. Ziff was a licensed certified public accountant.  From approximately January 2006 through December 2010, Ziff operated a tax return preparation and accounting business.  During that time, Ziff was the trustee of a trust that was associated with the last will and testament of another individual.  As the trustee of the trust, Ziff opened a bank account in the name of the trust at Wachovia Bank over which he had sole signatory authority.  While serving as trustee of the trust, Ziff embezzled and caused to be transferred approximately $300,000 from the trust bank account to other bank accounts that he controlled and used the funds for his personal use.  Ziff failed to report the embezzled funds as income on his federal income tax returns for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones of the Northern District of Georgia ordered Ziff to serve one year of supervised release and pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the amount of $47,539.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Horn commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Trial Attorney Christopher J. Maietta of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. Grimberg of the Northern District of Georgia, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.

Updated August 11, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-565