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Press Release

Bridgeport Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, announced that ROLANDO RUSSELL, 62, of Bridgeport, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to preparing false tax returns for clients.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Russell prepared approximately 1,820 federal tax returns for the 2013 through 2016 tax years through a tax return preparation practice he operated in Bridgeport.  The returns claimed a total of approximately $11.26 million in refunds, of which the IRS issued approximately $10 million.  An investigation revealed that many of the tax returns he prepared included false Schedule C forms (“Profit or Loss from Business”).  On the returns, the losses attributed to Schedule Cs totaled approximately $22.2 million, resulting in a corresponding reduction of taxes owed of up to $6.2 million.

Russell pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years on each count.

In pleading guilty, Russell agreed that losses suffered by the IRS as a result of his fraud totaled approximately $1.5 million.

Russell is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on August 7, 2019.

As a result of Russell’s fraudulent conduct, many of his clients’ filed tax returns will need to be amended.  Russell’s clients are required to resolve their own tax liability with the IRS.

This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.

Updated April 26, 2019