Two accountants who failed to pay their own taxes and assisted hundreds of their clients in filing false taxes returns worth about $7.5 million have been indicted, the Manhattan district attorney said.
The 21-count indictment accuses Jeffrey Rosner and David Cohen, who had offices in the Empire State Building, of multiple counts of fraud and tax crimes, and charges them with grand larceny in the second degree. The accountants allegedly helped at least 600 tax clients file false tax returns by inflating expenses, misrepresenting married taxpayers and changing clients' corporate names every few years to avoid detection.
The charges are the result of a three-year investigation that was launched after an unrelated inquiry into one of the men's clients uncovered questionable tax deductions. According to the indictment, between 1999 and 2003, Rosner and Cohen also reported their own incomes falsely -- actually receiving city and state refunds of more than $5,000 in some years.
Rosner was arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court and was released on a $350,000 bond after pleading not guilty. Cohen reportedly evaded police custody earlier this week at the Staten Island home of his daughter.
Two clients have already pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme and are cooperating with authorities, the District Attorney's Office said. Both defendants face up to 15 years in prison for the grand larceny charges.
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