Some of our favorite recent tax fraud cases.
New York: Preparer Mark Goldberg, 40, has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for operating a massive fraud of more than $7 million in bogus deductions on state and federal returns. Goldberg also received three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution of $2,597,419 to the U.S. and New York State. He also will forfeit more than $500,000 in seized funds earned through his scheme, half of which will be paid to New York.
According to court documents, between 2005 and 2012 Goldberg, who ran the tax-prep business E&M Multi-Services out of a Bronx storefront, completed and filed at least 4,000 illegal returns with New York State and the IRS. The IRS and New York then paid out $2.5 million in bogus refunds.
Goldberg was charged with 46 criminal counts. He pled guilty to one count of subscribing to a false and fraudulent return for himself, to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false return for a relative and to one count of wire fraud.
Griffin, Ga.: Preparer Buffy Drake, 43, has received three years and nine months in prison and been ordered to pay restitution for filing false returns that claimed millions in refunds.
According to authorities and information presented in court, Drake, while operating the tax prep business Imagine That, filed from 2011 through 2012 returns claiming more than $2.5 million in fraudulent refunds.
She retained a substantial portion of the proceeds from this scheme, and in some instances returns were filed without the permission of the individuals whose IDs were on the returns.
Drake pleaded guilty on March 5 to one count of wire fraud.
Phenix City, Ala.: Preparer Teresa Floyd has been indicted for her alleged involvement in a stolen-ID refund-fraud scheme. She has been charged with several counts of wire fraud and aggravated ID theft.
According to the indictment, Floyd, owner and operator of T & L Tax Service, obtained IDs of individuals to file fraudulent income tax returns.
To conceal her scheme, Floyd also created fictitious ID documents and bills in the names of those individuals. The indictment also seeks to recoup $320,397 from Floyd.
St. Paul, Minn.: Preparer Olufemi Augustine Badejo, 43, has been charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly filing fraudulent claims for refunds of Minnesota property taxes, according to published reports.
Badejo operates New Horizon Investments, investigated by the FBI since May 2012 because of reports that he was filing returns on behalf of people without their knowledge, forging signatures and having refunds wired directly into his own bank account, according to a criminal complaint cited by news outlets.
Investigation reportedly found that from July 2008 to September 2011, Badejo submitted at least 28 claims in others' names for Minnesota property tax refunds. Four of the refunds went back to the state because the taxpayers owed money, but the other 24 went into Badejo's account, according to reports.
Badejo redirected more than $20,000 of his clients' refunds into his bank account, according to a cited news release from local authorities. Badejo also failed to report the fraudulently gained money on his own tax returns, the criminal complaint reportedly said.
The complaint charges him with four counts of filing a false or fraudulent return, four counts of failure to pay taxes and eight counts of filing a false or fraudulent property tax refund statement, according to reports.
Badejo's lawyer reportedly refused the government's case, telling news outlets that many of Badejo's clients are poor and do not have checking accounts, so Badejo had refunds deposited in his account and then gave them the money.