Los Angeles – LawFuel.com – An El Segundo tax return preparer was arraigned yesterday and has agreed to plead guilty to charges that he willfully failed to file his personal income tax return for 2005 and that he filed false claims for tax refunds on behalf of his clients.
Gene S. Wong, who operated a tax return preparation and bookkeeping business known variously as “TaxLAX”, “Tax 4 Less”, and “GW Accounting & Bookkeeping Center”, has agreed to plead guilty to two counts contained in a criminal information filed against him earlier this year.
According to his plea agreement, Wong filed false claims for tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of at least 92 third parties from February 2003 through April 2007. The false claims resulted in a tax loss to the government of more than $255,000.
The false claims for refunds filed by Wong claimed fraudulent tax credits including general business tax credits, fuel tax credits, and alternative vehicle tax credits. In his plea agreement, Wong admitted that there was no basis for the tax credits claimed on the false returns he prepared.
Wong admitted that, for the tax years 2003 through 2006, he willfully failed to file his personal income tax returns. Additionally, Wong admitted that he failed to report gross business receipts for the past ten years.
In an effort to disguise his income and make it difficult for the IRS to identify him as the tax return preparer, Wong used the identifying information of nominees, including that of his own son, to identify the paid return preparer on more than 500 tax returns he personally prepared. Additionally, Wong used different business addresses for the same business location and, on tax returns he prepared for clients, he spelled his name in two different ways.
Wong faces a statutory maximum of six years in federal prison and fines totaling $350,000 when sentenced for the crimes specified in the criminal information.
Wong is expected to enter his guilty plea before United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder later this week.
The investigation and prosecution of Wong was conducted by IRS – Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the Tax Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.