Queens, N.Y., Tax Preparer Indicted for Filing False Tax Returns
The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Celamour Berus, of Springfield Gardens, N.Y., was arrested for multiple tax crimes today following his indictment on April 3, 2014. The indictment was unsealed today in the District Court for the Eastern District of New York following his arrest.
According to the indictment, Berus owned and operated a tax preparation business called Celamour Enterprises, which was located at his home in Springfield Gardens, N.Y. The indictment alleges that Berus prepared false individual income tax returns for clients of Celamour Enterprises for tax years 2007 through 2011. Berus included false itemized deductions for charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee expenses and other expenses on the returns he prepared. The indictment charges that Berus aided and assisted in the preparation of 38 false tax returns for his clients.
The indictment also alleges that Berus falsified his own federal income tax returns for tax years 2007 through 2010 by failing to report all of the gross receipts generated by his tax preparation business. Berus also included false itemized deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses on his tax returns.
A trial date has not been scheduled. An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Berus faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for each count and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Jeffrey Bender and Kevin Lombardi of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.