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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Files Civil Injunction Lawsuit Against Five Tax Preparers To Prohibit Them From Engaging In Tax Preparation Business

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States filed a civil injunction complaint in Manhattan federal court against five individuals, LESTER MORRISON, PAULETTE BULLOCK, GARY HANNA, JOY DAVID, and KEVIN VADEN, who were previously convicted of preparing fraudulent federal tax returns through a tax preparation business, to prohibit them from preparing tax returns for others or engaging in activities that substantially interfere with the administration of federal tax laws.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Tax preparers who filed fraudulent returns using the names of deceased children or by concocting phony business losses should not be permitted to continue preparing tax returns for others. This Office is committed to bringing cases like this to protect the integrity of the tax system and the general treasury, which is, after all, the people’s money.”

As set forth in the Complaint:

MORRISON, BULLOCK, HANNA, DAVID, and VADEN all were involved in a tax preparation business with locations in the Bronx and in Englewood, New Jersey. Through that tax preparation business, defendants orchestrated a tax fraud scheme from 2000 to 2008. As part of the scheme, defendants prepared thousands of false and fraudulent tax returns that sought improper deductions through a variety of deceptive means. For example, defendants used the stolen identities of deceased children to claim those children as dependents for the purpose of seeking deductions, claimed phony business losses for non-existent businesses, and falsely claimed education credits.

In 2009 and 2010, all five defendants were indicted based on their participation in this tax fraud scheme. Subsequently, all defendants pled guilty to tax fraud in federal court. HANNA, DAVID, and VADEN have been released from prison, while BULLOCK and MORRISON are scheduled to be released in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

To prevent these defendants from resuming the practice of preparing false and fraudulent tax returns or otherwise interfering with tax collection and administration in the future, the United States seeks a permanent injunction against each defendant to bar him or her from preparing tax returns for others or engaging in any other activity that substantially interferes with the administration of federal tax laws.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Tax and Bankruptcy Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Li Yu is in charge of the case.

Press Release Number: 
Updated May 15, 2015