Manhattan Return Preparer Pleads Guilty To Filing False Tax Returns
WASHINGTON – Stavros Lubinof, owner of Apollo Tax Services in mid-town Manhattan, N.Y., pleaded guilty today to tax charges, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Lubinof waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a two count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to defraud the IRS and with aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns.
According to the criminal information and statements made during the plea hearing, from 2000 through spring 2005, Lubinof owned and operated Apollo Tax Services. While preparing income tax returns for clients at Apollo, Lubinof fabricated or inflated Schedule A deductions, such as exaggerated or fictitious unreimbursed employee expenses and gifts to charity. This thereby lowered the amount of tax due and owed by Apollos clients that was reported on their individual income tax returns. The total tax loss attributable to the conspiracy is $102,859.
U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel scheduled sentencing of Lubinof for Nov. 20, 2009 at 11 a.m. Lubinof faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of financial gain to the defendant or loss to the IRS.
In October 2008, an employee of Lubinof at Apollo, Christos Antonakas, pleaded guilty to a two count information charging him for his role in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the IRS and for aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of materially false income tax returns. During the plea hearing, Antonakas admitted that from 2000 through spring 2005, he worked as a tax return preparer for Apollo where he was instructed by Lubinof to fabricate or inflate Schedule A deductions for Apollo's clients, thereby lowering the amount of tax due and owing reported on their individual income tax returns.
Antonakas is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara S. Jones on Aug. 21, 2009. Antonakas faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of monetary gain to the defendant or loss to the IRS.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco of the Justice Departments Tax Division commended the IRS-Criminal Investigation special agents who investigated the case, as well as Tax Division trial attorney Michael P. BenAry, who prosecuted the case and the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York for their assistance in the case.