New York City Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing and Filing False Tax Returns
A Queens, New York, tax return preparer pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, to 38 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns and four counts of filing false personal income tax returns, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to the allegations in the indictment, Celamour Berus, 61, owned and operated Celamour Enterprises, a tax return preparation business located at his home in Springfield Gardens, New York. For tax years 2007 through 2011, Berus prepared false individual income tax returns that claimed false charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee expenses and other itemized deductions for clients of Celamour Enterprises. Berus also falsified his own tax returns for tax years 2007 through 2010 by failing to report all of the gross receipts generated by his tax preparation business and claiming false itemized deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses.
Berus faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each count at his sentencing set for Aug. 18 before U.S. District Judge Allyne R. Ross of the Eastern District of New York.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended the special agents of IRS-CI, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Jeffrey Bender and Brittney Campbell of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case. Ciraolo also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for their substantial assistance.