New York Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns
Bought ID Info of Children from Parents and Sold It to Clients
A Nassau County, New York return preparer was sentenced to 24 months in prison for filing fraudulent tax returns, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. for the Western District of New York.
According to documents and information presented to the court, from January 2010 through April 2015, David Menzies, 51, of Floral Park, filed fraudulent tax returns for hundreds of clients that claimed fake business income and expenses and false dependents to seek refunds to which his clients were not entitled. Menzies solicited, and sometimes purchased, the personal identifying information of children from their parents, and claimed them as dependents on other clients’ returns. Menzies charged his clients $250 for the use of the phony dependents and often used the same children’s information in multiple years. He recruited people to assist him in filing these fraudulent returns and directed them to escort his clients to check cashers, in order to cash their refund checks and collect Menzies’ fee, including the money for the false dependents.
In addition, Menzies concealed his identity as the preparer of the fraudulent returns by soliciting other people to apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for preparer IDs and then filing the returns under those preparer IDs. Menzies admitted that this scheme caused a tax loss of more than $250,000.
Menzies also acknowledged that he failed to timely file his 2009 through 2015 personal tax returns.
In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo ordered Menzies to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $280,930 in restitution to the IRS.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy thanked special agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti and Trial Attorney Jason M. Scheff of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.