Justice News

Department of Justice
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Maryland Return Preparer Convicted of Aiding and Assisting in the Preparation of False Tax Returns

A Baltimore, Maryland, man was convicted by a federal jury yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland of preparing false income tax returns for clients of his tax return preparation business, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. 

Charles Imariagbe was convicted of 15 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns after a five day jury trial.  According to court documents and testimony at trial, between 2008 and 2012, the defendant operated a tax preparation business called JC Tax Service Inc., in Baltimore.  During that time, the defendant prepared false individual income tax returns for at least seven clients for submission to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  These tax returns claimed false and fraudulent income and expenses from Schedule C businesses and grossly inflated or wholly fictitious mileage expenses.  The false items on these returns resulted in the clients receiving larger tax refunds than they were entitled to receive.   

“Yesterday’s verdict sends a clear message that tax return preparers who knowingly prepare and file false returns will be investigated and prosecuted, and will face substantial incarceration,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo.  “As we enter the 2016 filing season, U.S. taxpayers are entitled to seek assistance from honest and competent professionals, and the Tax Division is committed to holding these return preparers accountable for their conduct.”  

U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander for the District of Maryland set sentencing for May 12.  The defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count of conviction. 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Trial Attorneys Brittney Campbell and Andrew J. Kameros, who prosecuted the case.

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

Press Release Number: 
Updated February 9, 2016