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Tax Fraud Blotter: Quit while you’re ahead

One sentence at a time; comp con; D.A. cleared; and other highlights of recent tax cases.

New Orleans: Two tax preparers have been sentenced for conspiring to defraud the federal government.

Carlanda Isaac, sentenced to 40 months in prison, worked for Pelican Income Tax and Bookkeeping Services and later for Taxes by J.A.D.A., another prep business. Isaac, with others, sought inflated refunds for clients by claiming false income, withholding and education credits. 

Issac was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay some $283,378 in restitution to the United States.

Tax preparer Brittany Patterson, of Jefferson Parish, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States. This sentence will begin after she completes her previous prison term of a year and a day in connection with a conspiracy relating to Crown Tax Service, another tax prep business where she worked.

From January through April 2015, Patterson conspired to file false returns for clients of Pelican. She and others prepared returns with false income and withholding amounts to generate undeserved refunds for clients. For the 2014 tax year, Patterson also falsified her own federal return, submitting fictitious education expenses and dependent information. In total, Patterson and her conspirators sought more than $550,000 in phony federal refunds.

In the new case, she was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay some $283,378 in restitution to the United States.

Davenport, Florida: Construction exec Guillermo Inamagua has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States and the IRS.

Inamagua, who pleaded guilty in March, owned and managed a construction company that purported to supply construction services and labor for contractors and subcontractors. Inamagua or others regularly received “payroll checks” from contractors to pay Inamagua’s purported employees and other related expenses.

He fraudulently represented in insurance applications that his company had a limited payroll and a limited number of employees who worked on construction jobsites. He also falsely sent wire communications to numerous contractors representing that his employees had full workers’ comp coverage. The loss to those insurers was more than $1.46 million in unpaid premiums. His disclaiming responsibility for ensuring that jobsite workers were legally authorized to work in the U.S. and evading laws that required the payment of state and federal payroll taxes also resulted in unpaid payroll taxes totaling more than $4.67 million.

The court also ordered forfeiture of $1,553,334 and two properties.

Durham, North Carolina: Resident Jayton Gill has pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and willful failure to file a tax return.

From at least 2015 to February 2021, Gill operated an unlicensed business involving the exchange of millions of dollars of cash and other monetary instruments for cryptocurrencies. He conducted thousands of transactions involving thousands of Bitcoins, advertising his unlicensed business on various public websites and claiming on one such site that he had conducted more than 4,200 transactions with 2,700 different parties. He also conducted unlicensed money transactions in person and via the U.S. mail.

Gill further admitted that he failed to file individual returns for 2015 through 2019 despite earning significant income.

The charge of operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum for willful failure to file a return is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Lilburn, Georgia: Marquet Mattox has been sentenced to 19 years and two months in prison for filing of dozens of fraudulent returns on behalf of sham trusts.

From 2016 to 2018, Mattox, who was convicted last year, filed more than 30 fraudulent federal income tax returns in the names of some 12 trusts. He falsely reported that the trusts had withheld large amounts of taxes on purported interest income, entitling the trusts to refunds.

He claimed a total of some $165 million in refunds; the IRS paid $5 million. Mattox used those funds to purchase a new house and a luxury automobile and to pay other personal expenses. 

He was also ordered to pay some $3.2 million restitution and serve three years of supervised release.

New Orleans: District attorney Jason Williams has been acquitted of all charges in a tax fraud trial, according to published reports.

Williams, along with his private practice law partner Nicole Burdett, reportedly faced a 10-count federal indictment accusing the pair of conspiring to evade taxes over five years by allegedly inflating business expenses and failing to file appropriate documentation for cash payments received by the law firm.

Reports said that the pair’s former tax preparer, Henry Timothy, took a plea deal with the government, admitting to filing improper returns for the pair but acknowledging that he had received no instruction from either Williams or Burdett to illegally lower their tax burden. Timothy has reportedly pleaded guilty to a single tax fraud count relating to his own personal tax returns.

Burdett was found guilty on four separate counts of tax fraud related to her personal filings after she was accused of claiming more than $280,000 in fake business expenses in the four tax years between 2014 and 2017, reports said. Her sentencing is Sept. 30, reports added.

Glen Dale, Maryland: Tax preparer Elvis Ghomsi, 44, has been sentenced to a year of probation for two counts of willfully filing a false state return.

During tax year 2018, he prepared returns for numerous Maryland residents. On those returns, he added false deductions to inflate refunds. The client victims were required to reimburse Maryland.

Ghomsi paid restitution of $14,566.33. He is also prohibited from acting as a tax preparer until he registers with the state.

Canton, Ohio: Husband and wife Jason and Rebecca Kachner have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS relating to operation of illegal gambling businesses.

From 2010 through 2018, the Kachners and other conspirators owned and operated Skilled Shamrock and Redemption Skill Games 777. The couple admitted to conspiring to defraud the IRS by filing returns that omitted most of the income they received from their ownership of the illegal businesses and by using a nominee owner to conceal their ownership.

From 2012 through 2017, patrons at Shamrock wagered more than $34 million, which resulted in more than $4 million in income for the owners. During these years, the Kachners received more than $900,000 in income from Shamrock. From 2009 through 2018, they received some $2.3 million in income from the businesses, most of which they did not report on their annual returns.

Rebecca Kachner also admitted to renting a storage locker to hold cash generated from the illegal gambling businesses. She agreed to forfeit some $241,000 in cash that investigators found in the locker.

Rebecca Kachner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS; Jason Kachner pleaded guilty to two counts. Both face a maximum of five years in prison for each count. They also face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. 

One conspirator, Larry Dayton, of Florida, has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS in connection with the case. From 2012 through 2017, Dayton did not report more than $2 million in income he received from Shamrock and Redemption. Dayton and others also created a false “purchase agreement” where he purported to sell the assets of the gambling business to a nominee owner’s entity.

He faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiring to defraud the IRS, as well as supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

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