As If The IRS Isn’t Scary Enough Some Tax Preparers Are Downright Spooky
Unscrupulous tax preparers are full of promises that lure people in.
Not only are there tax preparers who will cause you to lose money, there are those who will also steal your identity and get you into deep trouble with the IRS.
Criminal tax preparers could come with great references from friends and business colleagues. You’ll be better off hiring a company that has been in business for a minimum of ten years, instead of just a few years. You can never be too careful when doing your due diligence before hiring someone to file your tax returns.
The three stories I am reposting below are from one of my favorite industry sites, accountingtoday.com. There’s even a chance you are a victim of one of these tax preparers and may find yourself now trying to make things right with the IRS. If that is the case, give us a call. Our reputation is spotless not spooky. We know the IRS is scary enough as it is. No one needs to be doing business with a scary tax preparer.
Tallahassee, Florida: Preparer Kenneth Alexander, 46, has been sentenced to 54 months in prison after pleading guilty to preparing false returns, theft of government funds and aggravated ID theft.
Between 2012 and 2016, Alexander, the sole shareholder of the Wizard Business Center tax prep practice, prepared and filed false federal returns for various individuals. Alexander falsely represented the taxpayers’ Schedule A deductions, Schedule C and E losses and marital status.
Alexander, a former linebacker on Florida State University’s 1993 national championship team, was also ordered to pay $1,057,753.40 in restitution to the IRS.
Jefferson County, Alabama: Preparer Larry Wayne Battle has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for filing a false return.
On his 2014 federal income tax return, Battle, who owned and operated a prep business, understated the gross receipts by approximately $321,638, resulting in a tax loss to the IRS of $163,401. Battle also admitted to preparing false returns for clients.
Battle was also ordered to serve a year of supervised release and to pay $234,300.53 in restitution to the IRS.
Atlanta: Vladimir Pierre, a.k.a. Jimmy Valentine, 39, originally of Montreal, has been sentenced to 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release and removal to Canada from the U.S. and been ordered to pay $341,996 in restitution for his role in a stolen-ID tax refund fraud.
In May, Pierre pleaded guilty to theft of government funds and aggravated-ID theft. He admitted that between approximately January 2015 and April 2018, he filed more than 150 fraudulent returns, a significant number of which involved the use of stolen identities, seeking more than $1 million in refunds. Pierre also admitted that as a result of his scheme he caused more than $340,000 in losses to the federal government.
Pierre took intricate steps to conceal his scheme, including advertising his tax services under a fictitious name, using EFINs and PTINs in the names of others to file returns, and obtaining a prep product using a stolen ID.