Tax Fraud Blotter: Bad policies | #phishing | #scams


Broken Link; pit stopped; c’mon, Man; and other highlights of recent tax cases.

Sherman, Texas: Tax preparer Tendai Gurure, 46, has been sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in May to aiding and assisting in preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns.

Gurure owned and operated the tax prep business TaxLinks. Investigation revealed that Gurure was filing returns that included false Schedule C information, fictitious business losses and false claims for Earned Income Tax Credits.

A subsequent review of seized documents determined that Gurure was responsible for losses to the government totaling $2,928,740.10 for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Gurure was also ordered to pay $2,928,740.10 in restitution.

Boston: John F. Casey, 57, former CFO of the Boston Grand Prix, a recently planned but failed IndyCar race, has pleaded guilty in connection with multiple schemes to defraud equipment and small-business financing companies as well as the Small Business Administration and the IRS.

Casey became CFO of the Boston Grand Prix in January 2015. The Boston Grand Prix organization made payments to or on behalf of Casey totaling some $308,292 in 2015 and $601,073 in 2016 that Casey failed to include in the gross income he claimed on his personal tax returns for those years.

He owned a local ice rink from October 2013 until he sold it in June 2016. Between October 2014 and October 2016, Casey obtained more than $743,000 from equipment financing companies, purportedly for the purchase of equipment for the ice rink, when in fact he no longer owned the rink for four months during this period.

In addition, in August 2016, more than two months after he sold the rink, Casey obtained more than $145,000 in small-business loans for the rink business. He submitted false documents and information for these loans and submitted a fake deed of sale containing a forged signature. Most of the money from the victim companies was never repaid.

Between March 2020 and at least last May, Casey fraudulently obtained Economic Injury Disaster and Paycheck Protection Program loans and a Massachusetts Sector-Specific Relief Grant available under the CARES Act by submitting false applications for companies he created and controlled; he used the fraudulently obtained loans and grants for personal expenses.

In January 2021, while awaiting trial for the financing fraud, Casey submitted an application for a $70,000 pandemic-related state relief grant containing false information about the operating expenses of a company that was not in business in 2019 or 2020. Between April 2020 and April 2021, some $676,552 in COVID relief funds was deposited into bank accounts controlled by Casey; he also used most of these funds for personal expenses, including a diamond ring, a membership to Match.com, private school tuition, residential rent payments, living expenses, payments on personal credit card accounts, restaurant meals, car payments and luxury hotels.

He also pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of his frauds and to failing to include the income from the rink fraud scheme on his 2014, 2015 and 2016 personal federal tax returns.

Casey, formerly of Ipswich, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to three counts of filing false returns as well as to 23 counts of wire fraud, three counts of aggravated ID theft and four counts of money laundering.

The charge of filing false returns provides for up to three years in prison and a year of supervised release; the charge of wire fraud for up to 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release; the charge of aggravated ID theft carries a consecutive sentence of two years in prison and a year supervised release; and the charge of unlawful monetary transactions carries up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Also the charges carry a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the criminally derived property, whichever is greater.

Sentencing is Feb. 15.

Charlotte, North Carolina: Former financial rep Sampson Pearson, 44, has been convicted of wire and tax fraud for defrauding his clients of more than half a million dollars.

From 2004 to 2016, Pearson was a representative for a financial services firm identified in court documents as Company A. He offered and sold life insurance products and annuities as an independent contractor for Company A and used his position to defraud at least 10 victims and Company A of more than $570,000 through a fraudulent loan and disbursement scheme.

Pearson submitted falsified loan applications and requests for disbursements in the victims’ names without their knowledge and approval; Company A authorized the loans and disbursements based on the fraudulent documents. Pearson also directed Company A to deposit the funds into an account that he controlled.

Pearson used the money to pay for personal expenses and to fund his lifestyle. Evidence at trial showed that more than half of all the money the defendant had deposited into his bank account between 2011 and 2016 was money he stole from his victims. Evidence also established that Pearson made Ponzi-type payments to some of his victims to perpetuate his fraud.

Pearson also committed tax fraud for 2013 through 2016, filing federal returns that did not reflect the additional personal income.

A jury convicted Pearson of tax fraud, wire fraud and aggravated ID theft. The maximum for filing a false return is three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Wire fraud carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and aggravated ID theft charge carries a mandatory two-year sentence consecutive to any other prison term imposed.

New Orleans: Tax preparer Quincy E. Irvin, 43, has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison after previously pleading guilty to making false statements on an income tax return.

Irvin admitted to owning two tax prep companies, Discount Tax Services and Quincy Irvin Tax Services, and to failing to declare $696,060 in income for tax years 2012, 2013 and 2014. Tax loss to the government totaled $249,074.

He was ordered to pay $249,074 in restitution and serve a year of supervised release after his prison term. He must also pay a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

Hanover, Massachusetts: Paving company owner William E. Dyer, 56, has agreed to plead guilty in connection with an income diversion scheme.

Dyer owned and operated Pilgrim Paving. From 2014 through 2018, Dyer allegedly diverted payments by directing customers to write checks to him and then cashing those checks. He failed to report over $1.7 million in diverted receipts and additional business deposits on the returns that he filed or that he directed a preparer to file on his behalf.

The federal tax loss was nearly $600,000.

The charge of tax evasion provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

New Orleans: Tax preparer Leroi G. Jackson has pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of false returns.

Jackson is the owner and operator of The Taxman Financial Services. Federal agents determined that he filed false income tax returns for numerous clients. For example, Jackson created false business losses or false education credits, all without his clients’ knowledge. Jackson had several employees obtain an EFIN, but many of these employees never used them. Jackson then used employees’ numbers to file false returns for clients. He charged at least $500 per return, deducted from a client’s refund.

From tax years 2014 through 2016, Jackson admitted that he caused a tax loss to the United States of $241,214.

He faces a maximum of three years in prison, a $100,000 fine, up to one year of supervised release and a $100 mandatory special assessment. He agreed to a permanent injunction against his preparing returns for others.

Sentencing is Feb. 1.

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