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Press Release

Former Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing False Tax Returns for Clients

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

FARGO – A former tax return preparer who provided services to clients in North Dakota pleaded guilty today to five counts of preparing false tax returns for clients.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Joseph Korha, currently of Minneapolis, Minnesota, worked as a tax return preparer for a business located in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2019, Korha prepared and submitted more than 100 fraudulent returns for clients, many of whom resided in the Fargo area. Korha claimed false tax credits and fictitious business profits and losses on these returns, which inflated his clients’ tax refunds. In total, Korha caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $294,000.

Korha is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, June 3, 2024, at 10 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Mac Schneider for the District of North Dakota made the announcement.

“This guilty plea is a victory for honest taxpayers,” Schneider said. “Nobody likes taxes, but when a preparer willfully commits fraud, that’s a crime that hurts the millions of Americans who work with trusted professionals to follow the law. I want to thank our partners at IRS Criminal Investigation for ensuring justice was done in this case.”

“A guilty plea is a good first step in achieving justice for taxpayers,” said Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Murdock, IRS Criminal Investigation’s St. Louis Field Office. “CI is happy to work alongside our partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to track down fraudulent tax preparers and hold them accountable for taking advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers.”

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Dominick Giovanniello of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan A. Healy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota are prosecuting the case.



Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7400

Updated February 21, 2024