Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Fraudulent Chicagoland Tax Return Business
Markham, Illinois Preparers Allegedly Fabricate Credits and Deductions
The United States has filed a complaint seeking to permanently bar Markham, Illinois tax preparer Patricia Rivers, her daughter-in-law, Ki’esha M. Gary, and Rivers’s business, Alpha II Omega Tax, from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The complaint against Rivers, Gary, and Alpha II Omega Tax was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and alleges that those parties prepare false federal income tax returns on which they understate their customers’ tax liabilities by reporting false or exaggerated itemized deductions, sole proprietorship business expenses, and rental real estate losses.
According to the complaint, the Internal Revenue Service interviewed 38 customers of Alpha II Omega Tax, who allegedly stated that they were not self-employed or did not incur the business expenses reported on their income tax returns; had no rental real estate or never suffered the significant rental losses reflected on their tax returns; did not make the donations or expend funds for the employment expenses listed by the defendants; and did not give Rivers and Gary any reason to believe that such deductions were legitimate.
The complaint alleges that, by repeatedly understating their customers’ tax liabilities, the preparers at Alpha II Omega Tax have caused the United States to lose substantial tax revenue. The government contends in the complaint that Rivers and Gary prepared over 2,750 income tax returns between 2016 and 2019, and the returns of just the 38 customers the IRS interviewed reflect an actual tax loss to the IRS of $278,461. The complaint also asks the court to order the defendants to turn over the ill-gotten tax preparation fees they earned while engaging in this fraudulent conduct.
“The Tax Division will work with its IRS partners to shut down return preparers who claim improper or illegal deductions and credits for their customers” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “Taxpayers should be vigilant so they do not file tax returns claiming false deductions.”
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.
In the past decade, the Department of Justice Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.