Some of our favorite recent tax fraud cases.
Delray Beach, Fla.: Preparers Geto Dorlizier, Lival Gourdet and Jourmel Thomas have been barred from preparing federal tax returns for others.
The civil injunction order, to which the three consented, also bars their businesses Atlantic Multi Services, Authentic Financial Services and JTS Paperworks and Tax Services Inc. from preparing federal returns for others.
According to the complaint, the defendants prepared federal income tax returns for clients that understated the tax due or overstated refunds by improperly claiming fuel tax credits, education credits and EITCs. All of the IRS-examined returns that the defendants prepared for tax years 2009 through 2012 contained false or frivolous tax credits or deductions.
The injunction requires the defendants to provide the government with a list of all clients for whom they prepared federal returns since Jan. 1, 2009.
Dorlizier was previously sentenced to 111 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and Thomas to 61 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release following their guilty pleas to aggravated ID theft, among other crimes, for their participation in a scheme to commit refund fraud. The two obtained identifying information on individuals, filed fraudulent returns on their behalf and then cashed the refund checks using these stolen IDs, according to the suit.
Birmingham, Ala.: Federal prosecutors have charged former preparer Sherica Lacey Lee, 33, who is already serving time for attempting to defraud the Gulf Coast oil spill claims fund, with evading income taxes.
Lee, of McCalla, Ala., has been charged with one count of tax evasion and one count of wire fraud through an information filed in U.S. District Court. The information also seeks to have Lee forfeit $23,757 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity.
The government also filed a plea agreement with Lee in which she agreed to plead guilty to the charges and to pay restitution of $134,448 to the IRS for taxes not paid in 2008 through 2010, plus $23,757 to the Department of Agriculture for food stamp benefits she was ineligible to receive between July 2009 and June 2013. Lee also consents, additionally, to forfeit the $23,757 sought in the information.
Authorities said she evaded income taxes for 2008 by preparing and submitting a personal return that falsely reported she had no taxable income when she had $229,147 in taxable income that year; Lee ran a tax preparation business, Lacey's Income Tax Service, with several locations in the Birmingham area. Between 2008 and 2010, according to her plea agreement, Lee's company filed more than 2,000 returns and generated about $2.5 million in receipts.
The information also charges Lee with wire fraud as part of a scheme to obtain federal benefits from the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
She was sentenced in June 2014 to one year and a day in prison for attempting to defraud the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. As part of Lee’s plea agreement in the current case, she and the government agree to a prison sentence of 24 months, unless the low end of the U.S. Sentencing Guideline range is more than 24 months. In that case, the government would recommend the low end of the guideline range. The government also would recommend that Lee's sentence run concurrently with the sentence she is now serving.
Bradenton, Fla.: Preparer Guy R. Paul has received three years in prison for preparing false returns and for failing to report income he had earned from his preparation business. He was also ordered to pay $217,246 restitution to the IRS and was permanently barred from preparing returns for others.
According to court documents, between 2008 and April 2013 Paul owned and operated G7 Financial Enterprises, a tax prep company that also provided additional services, including check cashing, money transfers and real estate sales. At G7, Paul added false information to clients’ returns to inflate refunds. In exchange, he charged and collected tax prep fees but then failed to report the income on his personal returns.
Paul was indicted in December 2013 and pleaded guilty on April 14.
Stone Mountain, Ga.: Preparer Joan Leger, 48, has been sentenced to two years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay $134,961 of restitution for filing false returns that claimed over $4 million in fraudulent refunds for unwitting refugees.
Authorities said that between 2008 and 2012, Leger operated two tax prep businesses, J & Company Tax Service and 1804 Tax Group, and filed thousands of federal income tax returns that claimed fraudulent deductions, expenses and credits that resulted in her clients receiving undeserved refunds.
Leger’s scheme primarily targeted Bosnian refugees who spoke little or no English and had a limited understanding of tax laws. In particular, she included false income and created phony businesses, faking both income and expenses. In total, Leger prepared returns claiming over $4 million in fraudulent refunds.
She was convicted on March 12 after she pleaded guilty.
Flint, Mich.: Preparer Lamar Boyd has pleaded guilty to assisting in the creation of at least 52 falsified returns between 2008 and 2012, according to published reports.
Boyd admitted in court documents to adding deductions and credits to his clients' tax returns and then pocketing the inappropriate refunds, reports said, adding that the clients were unaware of Boyd's scheme according to court records.
Boyd reportedly prepared returns with legitimate deductions, informed his clients of expected refunds, had the returns signed, and then added falsified deductions and credits to inflate the refund amount. The original, legitimate refund would be deposited into clients’ bank accounts and the remaining inflated refund amount into Boyd's personal account, reports said, adding that he faces between 18 months and two years in prison and that sentencing is Oct. 20.
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