Florida Tax Preparer Sentenced To Prison For Criminal Contempt
Tax Preparer Defied Court Injunction Prohibiting the Filing of IRS Returns.
A Florida man was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on August 25, 2022 for criminal contempt for continuing to prepare and file tax returns with the IRS in violation of a federal court order barring him from doing so.
Tax Houses And Accounting Services of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
The Tax Division of the U.S. Justice Department (“DOJ”) announced that on August 25, 2022, a federal court in the Southern District of Florida issued the sentence on Guy Telfort, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who previously owned and operated Tax Houses and Accounting Services, a Lauderdale Lakes tax preparation business.
The announcement relying on court documents and statements made in court states that from approximately January 2015 through April 2019, Telfort and his employees prepared and filed tax returns for clients. In order to generate inflated IRS refunds for clients, some of these returns reported false items, including fictitious business income and losses and mileage deductions. On April 24, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an injunction against Telfort in a civil proceeding, permanently barring Telfort from preparing federal tax returns for others.
Despite this court-ordered injunction, in 2020 and 2021, Telfort continued to prepare and file returns, working out of an Oakland Park, Florida, pawn shop. Telfort charged clients as much as $1,000 for each return filed with the IRS. Some of these tax returns reported false medical and dental expenses and charitable contributions, as well as fictitious businesses. To disguise his role in preparing these returns, Telfort used IRS Preparer Tax Identification Numbers belonging to other tax preparers. Over the two-year period, Telfort prepared nearly 1,200 tax returns for clients in willful violation of the permanent injunction.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno ordered Telfort to serve three years of supervised release and pay $762,338.88 in restitution to the United States.
Actions by DOJ help support IRS’ campaigns to fight refund fraud and identity theft.
“Identity theft is a pervasive crime and stopping it remains a top priority of the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS, with the help of our Security Summit partners, continues to make progress in this area, but we need to continue our significant efforts to protect taxpayers and assist those who have been a victim of identity theft. We are fighting this problem with enhanced systems, smarter technology and the efforts of our dedicated workforce, including Criminal Investigation. We will retain our relentless, vigorous pursuit of those who prey upon others in this arena”.
The Office of the Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation (“CI”) has previously stated that “Millions of taxpayers put their trust in tax professionals to prepare accurate and lawful returns. Unfortunately, a few bad apples take advantage of that trust for their own greed and profit. CI’s special agents are highly skilled at unraveling fraudulent schemes. With our partners in other agencies and the private sector, we are dismantling these crooked enterprises and enforcing our tax laws.”
What Should You Do?
Whether you are a victim or the perpetrator of identity theft or refund fraud, it is important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible to preserve your rights and/or mitigate your losses. The tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Orange County (Irvine), San Francisco Bay Area (including San Jose and Walnut Creek) and elsewhere in California know exactly what to say and how to handle issues with the IRS as well as State Tax Agencies. Our experience and expertise not only levels the playing field but also puts you in the driver’s seat as we take full control of resolving your tax problems. Also, if you are involved in cannabis, check out what our cannabis tax attorney can do for you. Additionally, if you are involved in crypto currency, check out what a bitcoin tax attorney can do for you.