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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jacksonville Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Thomas Bandzul (71, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January 13, 2015, before Senior United States District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. Bandzul was indicted on January 30, 2014.                 

According to court documents, from January 2008 through May 2011, Bandzul was a tax return preparer in Duval and St. Johns counties. He knowingly and willfully made false claims for deductions and credits on 32 tax returns on behalf of his clients, which resulted in additional tax refunds from the IRS. As part of the scheme to defraud, Bandzul would prepare and furnish to his taxpayer client one version of a tax return.  He would then make false and fraudulent claims on a separate tax return and electronically file it with the IRS. Bandzul prearranged with his clients to be paid a specified fee out of their anticipated tax refunds. In many cases, Bandzul caused the additional higher tax refunds to be paid to him without his clients’ knowledge or consent.  Additionally, Bandzul committed tax fraud on his individual federal tax returns for 2008 and 2009.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale R. Campion.

Updated January 26, 2015