A Bronx-based tax preparer who was awaiting sentencing for filing false tax returns was re-arrested on Wednesday on the same charge, and also happens to be the first tax preparer suspended from preparing tax returns under New York State’s new tax preparer regulations.
Joseph Barrios, Jr., 50, a New Jersey resident, owns a tax prep business that has been known at various times as JB Tax, Inc., BA Services, Barrios Agency, Inc. and All Option Service, Inc. all at the same address in the Bronx. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said it had audited more than 5,000 returns filed by Barrios from 2009 to 2013, and stopped or recovered more than $6 million in fraudulent tax refunds claimed on those returns.
In January, Barrios pled guilty to a felony charge of aiding and assisting the preparation of false returns on behalf of his clients. His sentencing date at that time was set for April 3, though as part of his plea deal, he agreed to a six-month sentence at Riker’s Island.
Following his January conviction, the tax department, which oversees and regulates 40,000 tax preparers throughout the state, suspended Barrios’ tax preparation registration under the state’s stiff new tax preparer regulations, meaning he could no longer prepare or file tax returns in the state of New York.
However, the tax department said Barrios continued to file fraudulent returns after his January conviction in an effort to secure both tax preparation fees and illegal tax refunds on behalf of his clients.
“He completely ignored his conviction and his suspension and continued to file fraudulent returns on behalf of clients, many of whom we believe were unaware of his deceptive practices and troubles with the law,” said tax department commissioner Thomas H. Mattox in a statement.
The Office of Bronx County District Attorney Robert Johnson and the tax department’s Criminal Investigations Division teamed on Barrios’s re-arrest. Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Glucksman is prosecuting this case.