A federal grand jury has indicted Peaches Mercer Turner and Alejandro Berdin for submitting false claims for refunds with the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice recently announced.Turner and Berdin, both of Riverside, Calif., are also charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Additionally, Turner was charged with aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and obstructing an IRS investigation by telling others to lie to federal investigators.

According to court documents, Turner and Berdin prepared and filed income tax returns for 2005 and 2006 that claimed false credits based on the phone excise tax refund and the earned income tax credit. The indictment alleges that the total amount of false claims filed by the duo exceeded $600,000 -- with one return alone claiming a $140,604 refund based upon a $137,228 telephone tax credit.

Separately, a federal court in California issued a preliminary injunction against a Bakersfield CPA, preventing him from promoting what the government says is a tax scheme.

The court issued the injunction after it found that Lowell Baisden had promoted a plan which helped customers create corporations into which they allegedly had their incomes deposited for the primary purpose of decreasing their tax liability. Under Baisden’s plan, the customers created real estate and forestry corporations, although most of the income reported by the corporations was derived from the customers’ income from their actual jobs in the medical profession.

Baisden allegedly reported deductions for the corporations for customers’ lawn care expenses, expenses related to their personal residences, car expenses, and for one customer, the purchase cost and storage fees for an airplane. He also prepared tax returns in California which characterized wages as rent, which is not subject to self-employment or employment taxes.

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