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Aggressive prosecution for tax preparer fraud in Minnesota case


The centerpiece of the tax collection system in the U.S. is voluntary compliance. The Internal Revenue Service depends on most individual taxpayers submitting their tax returns and any tax owed every year with little more than the reminder that the filing deadline is April 15.


When this does not occur, the IRS will attempt to collect the delinquent tax. Sometimes the tax is clearly delinquent and in other cases, it may be questionable. If the IRS has begun an investigation, it likely they believe that you owe the tax. 


One of the more serious tax fraud charges is tax preparer fraud. This type of fraud poses a threat to the integrity of the tax system and the IRS and U.S. Attorney's Office will aggressively prosecute cases involving tax preparer fraud.

Last month two individuals, a husband and wife, pled guilty to a variety of criminal charges involving two conspiracies the couple engaged in. One employed other individuals tax returns, which they apparently prepared, but indicated on the tax return that the taxpayer had prepared the return.

They then collected the tax refunds which where deposited in their own bank accounts, from which they paid their clients and deducted their fee for preparing the return.

They operated the tax preparation business out of an office in Shakopee. Their second office in Florida used the information from Guatemalans working in the U.S., which they used to file fake returns. The scheme generated $1.8 million in refund checks and as part of the plea agreement, the man will pay more than that amount in restitution and could be sentenced to nine years in federal prison.

The man's wife also pled guilty and because she is Venezuelan, in addition to 21 months in prison, she could face immigration sanctions.

The complexity of tax charges and the potential for long prison sentences, large fines and tax penalties and other issues, such as immigration matters, means that if you have bee accused of any matters involving federal tax laws, you will need a sophisticated defense that understands the complex range of issues implicated in this type of federal prosecution.


Source:, "Minnesota couple plead guilty to huge tax scam," Dan Browning, November 17, 2015

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Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered

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