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Justice News

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to 4 Year's Imprisonment for Filing False Tax Returns with the IRS

A tax return preparer was sentenced to 48 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for filing a false claim with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The defendant was also ordered to pay $7,500.00 in restitution to the IRS and other victims.

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, previously 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.

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 at least seventy-eight separate false 2008 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. 

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 Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated February 4, 2016