Some of our favorite recent tax fraud cases.
Spruce Pine, Ala.: Preparer Jacqueline J. Arias, 40, has been sentenced to 97 months in prison and three years of supervised release and been ordered to pay the U.S. $10,589,326 in restitution for her role in filing false returns and laundering money.
On July 8, Arias pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., six counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering conspiracy. As part of her plea, she admitted to her role in a long-term fraud involving filing false income tax returns that fraudulently claimed large refunds.
The indictment charged that Arias, a certified acceptance agent, filed false applications for ITINs and filed false returns and collected preparation fees from the fraudulently obtained refunds. The indictment also charged her with filing false returns for her corporation, JB Tax Professional Services, and for herself individually.
Arias, her husband and 19 others were charged. Sixteen defendants have pleaded guilty, four remain fugitives overseas and one, recently arrested in Panama, is set for trial this month. Arias was also ordered to forfeit nearly $400,000 that investigators seized.
LaPlace, La.: Investigators are widening an inquiry into the practice of preparer Shawanda Nevers. The Justice Department filed last year to block her from preparing returns, and she is now reportedly under investigation for filing damage claims in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago.
According to published reports, authorities are looking into files on the computer of Nevers, who worked as a preparer out of her bar and who IRS investigators said was responsible for hundreds of fraudulent returns from 2009 to 2011 that related to oil spill claims she submitted for her business and employees.
Nevers filed for losses for a catering business she operated, although records indicate she never had the necessary licenses or permits needed to run such a business, according to reports. She also sought lost wages for 12 purported employees of the business, according to the search warrant cited in reports.
Nevers has not been charged with any crime, reports added, but she did reportedly take $250 to $300 per return for herself and her clients underpaid their tax bills by an average of $8,000.
Authorities also reportedly claim that Nevers (Accounting Today) underreported her own income from her tax prep work by about $128,000 on her return for 2010, and filed no personal returns for 2011 to 2013 and no business tax returns from 2009 to 2013.
Franklin, Mass.: Accountant Charles Delfino, 59, has reportedly been charged with defrauding clients out of thousands of dollars and depositing their refunds into his own bank accounts. According to published reports, Delfino e-filed returns for three families earlier this year, stole their refunds and dodged their inquiries. Delfino, who recently ran for a local town council seat and for constable in 2011, also faces larceny charges in connection with fraud after allegedly bouncing checks totaling $1,567, reports added.
Warwick, R.I.: Preparer Tashia Y. Bodden, 37, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and to aggravated ID theft, and the government agreed to recommend that her sentence be three years or less in prison, according to published reports.
Bodden and preparer Evelyn Nunez, 40, of Providence, R.I., were recently arrested (Accounting Today) in connection with an alleged scheme by tax prep firm NBP Multiservices of Cranston, R.I., to steal the personal ID information of minors named as dependents on returns.
Authorities said the two sold the information to other filers for use on their returns to inflate refunds. According to court records and case documents, between January 2008 and February 2012 taxpayers allegedly purchased false dependents for approximately $600 to $700 per dependent. The scheme allegedly defrauded the IRS of more than $1.34 million and the State of Rhode Island of more than $65,500 dollars.
Nunez has reportedly not signed a plea agreement.
Waseca, Minn.: Preparer Roger Herman Goetz Jr. is charged in connection with allegedly defrauding clients from December 2009 through at least February 2013, according to published reports.
The indictment reportedly charges him with four counts of wire fraud and covers some of the same incidents that spurred the Minnesota Board of Accountancy to revoke his license in 2013. In those instances, Goetz failed to submit both state returns and $115,000 he was given by a client to pay Minnesota estate taxes, reports said.
According to the cited indictment in the current case, Goetz told clients he needed money to pay their deceased parents’ estate taxes but instead used the money for himself. He also reportedly acknowledged recent disciplinary actions yet continued to represent himself as a CPA, reports added.
Goetz was released November 19 on $25,000 bond. Arraignment is January 5 and trial is February 2, according to reports.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access