Several tax preparers in New York City and Long Island have been arrested and prosecuted after investigations into the filing of false state and federal income tax returns, according to the New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance. Investigations by the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance and local authorities allege that these preparers cheated the state and the IRS out of millions of dollars in refunds. 

The department added that one of the convicted has agreed to pay $500,000 -- the second-highest penalty ever imposed by the Tax Department on a professional preparer.

The charged were:

  • A New York City preparer who pled guilty to filing 100 fraudulent returns, many with fictitious dependent information. He agreed to pay restitution of $608,722, including $108,722 in refunds and $500,000 in penalties. Authorities did not release his name due to the investigation being ongoing.
  • Sherrece Durrant-Gardner of Hempstead, an employee of a tax-service franchise in Uniondale, pled guilty to using the personal information of jailed inmates, such as their Social Security numbers, to file fake returns, and received more than $30,000 in phony refunds from the IRS. She was sentenced to probation for three years.
  • Joseph Barrios Jr., proprietor of JB Tax Inc., and William Barrios, proprietor of NY All Services Corp., are two brothers who worked as preparers in separate businesses in the Bronx. Both were charged with failing to timely file their own personal and corporate income tax returns. Joseph Barrios Jr. was also charged with preparing and filing false personal income tax and sales tax returns on behalf of other individuals.
  • Albert Adams, of Baldwin, owner of the Adams Tax Service, and Walter A. Cordero of Garden City, a partner of Albert Adams and owner of a related business, A&C Income Tax Inc., have pled guilty to charges. Adams pled guilty to offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree for filing false income tax returns and has agreed to pay $150,000 restitution to New York. Cordero pled guilty to the same charge in the second degree and agreed to pay $100,000 in restitution.
  • Mark Goldberg of the Bronx, proprietor of E&M Multi Services Inc., was arrested after a multi-agency criminal investigation and charged in connection with filing false personal income tax returns with the IRS and New York State that resulted in the payment of more than $2.5 million in bogus refunds. He also was charged with wire fraud and falsifying business records. If convicted of all of the federal charges, he could face a maximum sentence of 155 years’ prison.
  • Nicola Ciervo of the Bronx, proprietor of NAC Accounting and Consulting Inc., pled guilty to preparing fraudulent sales tax returns for a person whom he thought to be a small-business owner during an undercover operation. The fraudulent returns would have resulted in $38,000 in evaded taxes.