Man Indicted For Filing False Tax Returns
CONCORD, N.H. – Okello Odongo, 36, of Snellville, Georgia, was indicted in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire on 19 counts of filing false tax returns and fraudulently obtaining tax refunds reports Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith.
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.
The indictment alleges that in 2011 and 2012 Odongo filed false tax returns on behalf of some of his customers that overstated the amounts of the tax refunds they were entitled to claim. The indictment also alleges that Odongo 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.
An initial appearance hearing was held on December 3, 2015, at which Odongo pleaded not guilty to the pending charges.
A trial has been scheduled for January 5, 2016. If convicted, Odongo is facing a maximum of five years in prison on each of the 19 counts of the indictment.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Zuckerman.
An indictment is merely an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.