Some of our favorite recent tax fraud cases.
Kansas City, Mo.: Preparer Harry George, Jr., 36, has pleaded guilty to aiding in the preparation of 51 fraudulent returns.
George, owner of Xpress Tax KC, admitted that he prepared 51 false federal income tax returns seeking fraudulent refunds by falsifying filing statuses, education credits, American Opportunity Credits, Schedules A, Earned Income Credits, additional child tax credits, retirement savings contributions credits and dependents.
These fraudulent returns resulted in a tax loss of $116,946. He faces up to three years in prison without parole.
Greenville, Texas: Preparer Lourdes Ramirez, 39, has pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false returns.
According to case documents, Ramirez operated under the names TX ASAP Tax Services and Fiesta Tax Service and admitted that from at least 2011 through 2014 she prepared and filed individual income tax returns for clients that reported materially false information, including false business income and losses, false credits and false deductions to inflate refunds.
Ramirez prepared approximately 1,163 tax returns and caused an intended tax loss to the U.S. of some $1,155,383.
Sentencing is Dec. 21, when she faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, as well as a term of supervised release and monetary penalties.
Joliet, Ill.: Preparer Gerrie Cokenour, 42, has pleaded guilty to charges of filing fraudulent returns and defrauding Illinois out of more than $400,000.
Cokenour pleaded guilty to laundering money derived from a felony tax prep fraud and was sentenced to 42 months; the sentence will run concurrent to the 18-month federal prison sentence Cokenour is currently serving after pleading guilty to federal tax fraud charges.
In February, the Illinois attorney general charged Cokenour and Nycole Simms-Stevens, 43, also of Joliet, with theft of government property over $100,000 and entering false information on hundreds of Illinois income tax returns. Simms-Stevens’ case is currently pending.
Cokenour and Simms-Stevens worked for Tax Advocators Inc., a Joliet prep business owned by Cokenour. Between 2012 and 2015, the pair allegedly prepared 764 fraudulent state income tax returns that allegedly contained inflated and fraudulent property tax data and other fraudulent deductions.
The case was initiated after the AG’s Consumer Fraud Bureau received complaints from consumers related to undisclosed tax preparation fees and stolen refunds.
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