Jacksonville Tax Return Preparer Sentenced To Federal Prison For Fraudulent Tax Returns
Jacksonville, Florida – Senior United States District Judge Henry Lee Adams has sentenced Thomas Bandzul to 18 months in federal prison for wire fraud. The Court also ordered him to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the amount of $311,824, based on excessive refunds that Bandzul had claimed on behalf of taxpayer clients, as well as excessive refunds that he had claimed on his individual tax returns for 2008 and 2009.
Bandzul pleaded guilty in September 2014.
According to court records, 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 IRS tax refunds. As part of a scheme to defraud, Bandzul would prepare and furnish one tax return to his taxpayer clients, but would then make separate false and fraudulent claims that he actually filed electronically with the IRS. By prearranged agreement with his clients, Bandzul was to be paid a specified fee out of the anticipated IRS refunds. In many cases, Bandzul caused the additional higher tax refunds to be paid to him without his clients’ knowledge or consent.
In addition, Bandzul also 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dale R. Campion.