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Press Release

Hampton, Virginia, Return Preparer Indicted for Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Hampton, Virginia, tax preparer was arrested yesterday on a federal grand jury indictment charging him with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, theft of government funds, and failing to file tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia.  The March 9, 2020, indictment was unsealed following the arrest.

According to the indictment, from 2013 through 2019, Carl L. Burden prepared tax returns for clients in Hampton and the surrounding counties.  Burden allegedly falsified those returns by fraudulently claiming dependents, residential energy credits, deductions, and child and dependent care expenses, in order to inflate the refunds sought from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Burden also allegedly directed a portion of a fraudulently obtained refund to be directly deposited to his bank account. The indictment also alleges that during this period, Burden did not file his own tax returns.

If convicted, Burden faces a statutory maximum sentence of ten years in prison for theft of public money, three years in prison for each count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false return, and one year in prison for each count of failing to file a tax return. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Terwilliger commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Grace Albinson and Francesca Bartolomey of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Samuels, who are prosecuting this case.

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

Updated March 12, 2020

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 20-314