Bridgeport Tax Preparer Sentenced to More Than 4 Years in Federal Prison for Preparing False Tax Returns
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ROLANDO RUSSELL, 62, of Bridgeport, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 50 months of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for 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”), false unreimbursed employee expenses and false charitable contributions. Based on the investigation, Russell’s false filings resulted in at least $1.5 million in losses to the IRS.
Judge Thompson ordered Russell to pay restitution of $1,501,000.
As a result of Russell’s fraudulent conduct, many of his clients’ filed tax returns for the 2013 through 2016 tax years will need to be amended. IRS notices are being sent to impacted clients.
On April 26, 2019, Russell pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return.
Russell, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on October 16.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.