Former Manchester Tax Preparer Sentenced For Filing False Tax Returns
CONCORD, N.H. – Okello Odongo, 36, of Snellville, Georgia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $34,822 in restitution to the IRS for filing 19 false tax returns and fraudulently obtaining tax refunds reports United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice.
Odongo is a former resident of Manchester, New Hampshire, where he operated a tax return preparation business called Tax Smart Solutions Co. As a tax preparer, Odongo was authorized by the IRS to file tax returns electronically for his customers. One of the forms he filed electronically was an Allocation of Refund Form that instructed the IRS to directly deposit refunds into specified bank accounts. The form allowed a refund to be allocated to two or more bank accounts.
In 2011 and 2012 Odongo filed false tax returns on behalf of some of his customers that fraudulently overstated the amounts of the tax refunds they were entitled to claim. Odongo also filed Allocation of Refund Forms that directed the IRS to electronically deposit the fraudulent portions of the refunds to bank accounts Odongo held or had access to. None of Odongo’s customers knew that he used their doctored tax returns as a vehicle to defraud the IRS.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Zuckerman.