FLORIDA – The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to shut down nine Florida tax preparers it accuses of claiming fraudulent tax credits and business deductions, among other things.
The United States filed a complaint on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida seeking to bar the tax return preparers and their associated business from assisting in the preparing of federal income tax returns for others.
The complaint alleges that Richard Louis, Teddy Davis, James Merrill, Daniel Ouku, Demetrius Knowles, Harold Bornelus, Joseph Garrett, Marlyne Wah, and Romeo Davis prepared and filed thousands of federal income tax returns for customers through or in connection with the unincorporated entity known as Taxman.
Taxman is based in Fort Lauderdale.
According to the complaint, one scheme used by the defendants was to claim fraudulent Residential Energy Credits on their customers’ tax returns. Louis and Taxman also allegedly falsified and overstated business and itemized deductions on their customers’ tax returns and prepared tax returns for customers claiming the incorrect filing status.
As alleged in the complaint, the defendants’ pattern of preparing returns that understate their customers’ taxes or that overstate their customers’ refunds has resulted in the defendants’ customers receiving refunds to which they are not entitled.
As further alleged in the complaint, based on the returns it has examined, the IRS estimates that the United States has lost millions of dollars in tax revenue as a result of the defendants’ actions.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.