WASHINGTON – The United States has sued an Orange County, Calif., man to stop him from selling bogus tax credits, the Justice Department announced today. According to the civil injunction complaint filed in a Los Angeles federal court, Lamar Ellis of Brea, Calif., fraudulently claims to have billions of dollars in federal research tax credits that the government supposedly granted him for purported scientific breakthroughs. The complaint states that Ellis claims to be a retired medical doctor, researcher and inventor.
The complaint alleges that Ellis has advertised his purported ownership of fake tax credits on various websites and has issued phony documents to individuals purporting to give them credits that can be used to reduce their tax obligations. Ellis has allegedly partnered with the Southwest Louisiana Business Development Center, a community development entity, in an attempt to sell $24 billion of fictitious tax credits.
According to the complaint, in 1998 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Ellis for his involvement in a fraudulent investment scheme involving Ellis’s claimed invention of a “detoxification system” that could purportedly detoxify people of drugs or alcohol in as little as 15 minutes. The complaint states that Ellis and his co-defendants allegedly offered to sell unregistered stock in Ellis’s company, Lamelli Inc., as part of that scheme. According to the complaint, a court found that they falsely claimed to investors that the detoxification system had been approved by the National Institutes of Health and that Lamelli had received a grant from the Food and Drug Administration. The government alleges that a court ordered Ellis to disgorge his profits from the fraud and to pay a penalty.
In the last decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop tax fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax return preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.