Maryland Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Defraud the IRS
The U.S. Department Of Justice announced on March 5, 2021 in a press release that Anita Fortune, age 56, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who provided return preparation services under multiple business names, including Tax Terminatorz Inc., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding in the preparation of a false tax return.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Ms. Fortune prepared and filed returns using co-conspirators’ electronic filing identification numbers and identifiers, which they provided in exchange for fees and office space. For the tax years 2011 to 2018, Ms. Fortune and her associates fraudulently reduced their clients’ tax liabilities and increased their refunds by adding fictitious or inflated itemized deductions and business losses to the clients’ returns. In total, Ms. Fortune caused a tax loss to the IRS of $189,748.
Ms. Fortune is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, 2021, and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and three years for the preparing a false return count. Ms. Fortune also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
IRS announces arrests and indictments after two-week campaign to fight refund fraud and identity theft.
The Federal District Courts should expect to see more of these cases as the IRS announced on March 20, 2019 the results of a national two-week enforcement and education campaign to combat refund crimes and identity theft that resulted in numerous legal actions against suspected criminals and businesses committing these crimes.
“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”.
Working with the Department of Justice Tax Division and U.S. Attorneys around the nation, IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) made 11 arrests, indicted 15 individuals and saw five other individuals or businesses sentenced who perpetrated some type of refund fraud or identity theft scheme.
What Should You Do?
Whether you are a victim of identity theft or the perpetrator of identity theft, 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), Los Angeles 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 a cannabis tax attorney can do for you. And if you are involved in crypto currency, check out what a bitcoin tax attorney can do for you.