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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Lake Worth Tax Preparer Charged Federally

A Lake Worth tax preparer is charged with fraudulently endorsing a Treasury check and committing tax return fraud.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

Paul E. Senat, 38, of West Palm Beach, Florida, has been charged by indictment with one count of fraudulent endorsement of a Treasury check, one count of theft of government money, one count of aggravated identity theft, and twelve counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns (Case No. 19-80024-CR-Rosenberg). If convicted, Senat faces up to 10 years in prison for fraudulent endorsement and/or theft of government money, a mandatory consecutive 2 year prison term for aggravated identity theft, and up to 3 years in prison for preparing false tax returns. He also faces fines and a term of supervisory release. Senat is scheduled to be arraigned on May 6, 2019.

According to the indictment and allegations made in court, Senat owns and operates American Justice, a tax preparation storefront in Lake Worth, Florida. He opened the business in December 2010.  Senat personally prepares and/or oversees all filing of all returns from his business storefront. Returns filed by Senat routinely claim business losses and other credits, including an education credit, that did not truly exist. This increases the amount of the tax refund paid by the IRS.

It is alleged that Senat not only charges an upfront preparer fee from the client, but he also allegedly takes approximately $1,000 from each refund as an additional fee before issuing the funds to the taxpayer.

It is further alleged that Senat has had two Electronic Filer Identification Numbers (EFINs) suspended by the IRS. These allow a person to electronically file tax returns on behalf of other taxpayers. After these were suspended, Senat allegedly began using nominees to obtain EFINs to continue his perpetration of the tax scheme.

The estimated total loss attributable to Senat’s tax preparer fraud scheme is $11,719,087.

A stolen U.S. Treasury check was allegedly deposited into a Chase bank account for which Senat was the sole signatory.

An indictment merely contains allegations.  A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI in this matter.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Alexandra Chase.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated May 2, 2019