Tax Fraud Blotter


A couple of our favorite recent tax cases:

Kissimmee, Fla.: Preparer William M. Gatlin, 51, has been sentenced in an Orlando court to 36 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the false preparation of returns. According to court documents, Gatlin was president of Taxes By Mr. Bill Inc., in Orlando and Kissimmee, where he helped prepare phony returns for clients that inflated refunds for the tax years 2006, 2007 and 2008. Gatlin fraudulently claimed the First-Time Homebuyer Credit on returns and also deducted student tuition, fees and student loan interest on returns where individuals did not pay these costs. He also prepared returns fraudulently listing deductions for Schedule C business losses when he knew that his clients did not own a business or have such losses. (All of the deductions were done without his clients’ knowledge.) The court also ordered Gatlin to serve a one-year term of supervised release following his prison term. In September, he pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting the false preparation of returns.

Ripon, Calif.: Preparer Sarad Chand, 51, was arraigned in a Fresno, Calif., court on a 10-count indictment charging him with assisting in preparing false returns. A grand jury returned an indictment against Chand on December 6, according to which he prepared tax returns under the name S. Chand Tax & Accounting Service Inc. He also allegedly assisted clients to obtain large refunds by falsifying deductions and credits, which authorities say cost the government millions of dollars in tax revenues in more than four years. If convicted, Chand faces a maximum of three years’ prison and a $250,000 fine. Chand entered a not guilty plea and was released on $100,000 bond, with his next court date set for February 19.

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