Tax Return Preparer Pled Guilty to Filing a False Claim with the IRS
A tax return preparer pled guilty to filing a false claim with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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.
Joseph Akins Owanikin, a/k/a Joe Akins, of Fort Lauderdale, pled guilty to one count of filing a false claim with the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287. At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison.
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 a false and fraudulent claim, that is, a false 2008 individual United States income tax return and supporting documents, including IRS Form 5405 for the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, fraudulently claiming a tax refund of $7,500.
Owanikin is scheduled to be sentenced on December 1, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge William J. Zloch.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz.
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.