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News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division

A federal grand jury in Philadelphia returned a superseding indictment charging a Pennsylvania man with 16 counts of assisting in the preparation of federal tax returns (emphasis by Zaher Fallahi, CPA, Esq.). According to the superseding indictment, Jean Coq of Philadelphia prepared tax returns for clients for tax years 2013 and 2014 that claimed inflated itemized deductions, including unreimbursed employee expenses and gifts to charity. As a result of these false items, Coq’s clients sought tax refunds to which they were not entitled. If convicted, Coq faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison on each count.

A Maryland tax preparer pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and to assisting in the preparation of a false tax return (emphasis by Zaher Fallahi, CPA, Esq.). According to court documents and statements made in court, Veronica Fortune and two co-conspirators provided return preparation services from an office in Temple Hills. Beginning in 2015, Fortune began preparing false returns for clients and permitted her co-conspirators to file false returns using Fortune’s IRS e-filing credentials. The IRS later expelled Fortune from its e-filing program, but she continued to prepare fraudulent returns through the 2018 tax year. Fortune faces a maximum penalty of five years on the conspiracy charge, and three years on the preparing a false tax return offense. A period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties also may be imposed.

A federal grand jury in Waco, Texas, returned an indictment charging a Texas tax preparer with 11 counts of assisting in the preparation of false tax returns (emphasis by Zaher Fallahi, CPA, Esq.). According to the indictment, Rossalynn Thomas operated TaxPros, a tax return preparation business in Temple. Between November 2014 through January 2017, Thomas allegedly falsified clients’ tax returns by claiming, among other things, false business income and education credits to generate tax refunds. The indictment further alleges that one of Thomas’s clients was an IRS agent acting in an undercover capacity. Thomas allegedly prepared a tax return for the IRS agent that falsely claimed charitable contributions and unreimbursed business expenses. If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each count. She also faces a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.

Zaher Fallahi, Tax CPA, and Tax Defense Attorney, assists taxpayers nationwide in resolving their tax problems, foreign gifts, undisclosed foreign bank accounts, and international tax matters. Tel.: (310) 719-1040, (714) 546-4272 and (877) 687-7558 toll free nationwide, E-mail   [email protected]