Tax Preparer Charged with Filing False Claims with the IRS
Joseph Akins Owanikin, a/k/a Joe Akins, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged by indictment with ten counts of filing false claims with the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287. Owanikin had his initial appearance and arraignment today in Fort Lauderdale before United States Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt. He pled not guilty.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.
According to court documents, Owanikin was a professional tax return preparer and operated Akins Financial Inc., a/k/a Akins Financial Services, in Miami-Dade County. The defendant obtained an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) so that he could submit tax returns electronically to the IRS in the names of other individuals. Owanikin knowingly filed false and fraudulent claims, that is, false 2008 individual United States income tax returns and supporting documents, including IRS Form 5405 for the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, fraudulently claiming tax refunds of $7,500 per return.
If convicted, the defendant faces up to 50 years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. 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 on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.