LAWFUEL – IRS Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Charles E. Hunter, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office, announce today that the owner of a tax preparation service in South Florida was indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami for preparing fraudulent income tax returns in a tax fraud scheme.
The five count Indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Miami charges defendant Robert Embert Payne, of Miramar, with conspiracy and with preparing fraudulent income tax returns. It is alleged that Payne, the owner of International Tax Consultants, LLC (“ITC”), a tax preparation service, masterminded an elaborate scheme to evade a client’s income taxes by setting up nominee Panamanian and Nevada corporations and by claiming phony deductions on their individual, partnership and corporate income tax returns.
If convicted on all counts, the maximum statuary penalty faced by the defendant is 25 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,250,000.
United States Attorney Acosta stated that, “Income tax preparers are responsible for ensuring that their clients’ income taxes are accurately and properly reported on their returns. Preparing false tax returns is a federal crime and those who knowingly attempt to cheat the government by claiming false deductions will be prosecuted and sent to prison.”
Acting Special Agent in Charge Charles E. Hunter stated that, “Those who prepare returns based on falsehoods and fabrications are asking for trouble for themselves and their clients. We will continue to aggressively investigate those who violate the tax laws.”
According to the Indictment, Payne prepared false 2000 through 2003 federal income tax returns for a client, identified by the initials “JMN,” which understated his income. The fraudulent income tax returns contained inflated or fabricated deductions to which the taxpayer was not in fact entitled to claim.
The Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers to watch out for return preparers claiming that they can get substantially greater refunds than in previous years.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by DOJ-Tax Division Attorney Greg Tortella.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.