People must have been behaving better recently, as the pickings this week were a little slim, but here are a couple of our favorite recent tax fraud cases.
Daytona Beach, Fla.: Preparer Fane Dacosta, 40, has received 28 months in federal prison for aiding in the preparation of false returns and failing to file his own returns.
According to evidence presented at trial, Dacosta, convicted on January 30, owned More Than Enaf Refund & Affordable Tax Services in Holly Hill, Fla., where for tax years 2006 through 2009 he prepared returns for individuals in which he falsified the amounts of deductions and tax credits to produce undeserved refunds.
Dacosta fraudulently claimed education credits for clients who never attended college and inflated itemized deductions, causing the IRS to issue more than $500,000 in undeserved refunds.
He also failed to file his personal returns in 2007, 2008 and 2009 despite earning a total of more than $600,000 during those years.
Dacosta was also ordered to serve a year of supervised release following his incarceration and to pay $656,084 in restitution to the IRS.
Montgomery, Ala.: The federal government has filed a complaint to bar Laquanda O. Gilmore, a.k.a. Laquanda Garrott, and her company, L&g Associates LLC, from preparing federal returns for others.
The complaint alleges that Gilmore has prepared returns that falsely claim fuel-tax credits and the Earned Income Tax Credit. According to the complaint, she repeatedly claimed “absurdly large” fuel-tax credits for clients who worked at national retail businesses.
The complaint also alleges that Gilmore repeatedly prepared returns that improperly claimed the EITC, claiming her clients earned income from wages or salaries, even though Gilmore attached no W-2s. (The complaint adds that IRS records show no W-2s issued to those taxpayers in the years at issue.)