Las Vegas Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Money Laundering Crimes
Previously Pleaded Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns for Clients and Impersonating FBI Agent
A Nevada man pleaded guilty yesterday to aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and money laundering. On March 28, he pleaded guilty to a separate indictment charging him with filing false tax returns with the IRS on behalf of clients, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and impersonating an FBI agent.
According to court documents, King Isaac Umoren, 41, of Las Vegas, owned and operated Universal Tax Services (UTS), a tax preparation business. From 2012 through 2016, Umoren prepared and filed with the IRS tax returns for clients that included false deductions and fictitious businesses, in an effort to generate larger refunds than the clients were entitled to receive. At times, Umoren used the names and IRS preparer tax identification numbers of other UTS employees without their knowledge or consent, making it seem as if they, not he, had prepared the false returns. On Feb. 7, 2016, Umoren posed as an FBI agent, wearing a fake badge and tactical gear, and drove to a client’s house with police lights attached to his vehicle to demand payment of a tax preparation fee. Umoren required his clients to use a refund anticipation check program, which he utilized at times to secretly take fees out of clients’ tax refunds without their knowledge.
In May 2016, Umoren attempted to sell UTS. To induce potential buyers to purchase the company at an inflated price, he provided fraudulent documents — including forged bank statements, fabricated return preparation fee reports, false personal tax returns and other tax forms that had never actually been filed with the IRS — as well as the stolen tax and personal identifying information of approximately 12,000 taxpayers who were not UTS clients. Eventually, Umoren succeeded in inducing a victim to purchase UTS and received more than $3.8 million in the sale. Umoren used the sale proceeds to purchase land in Henderson, Nevada, and an automobile.
Umoren is scheduled to be sentenced on all charges on Nov. 2. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on each count of helping file a false tax return for others, three years in prison for impersonating a federal agent, 10 years in prison for each money laundering count, 20 years in prison on each of the wire fraud counts, and a mandatory minimum sentence of at least two years in prison based on the aggravated identity theft counts. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the FBI are investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Sarah A. Kiewlicz and Patrick Burns of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.