Five Tax Preparers Brought Up on Charges for Falsifying Client Returns

The Justice Department this week asked a federal court to bar five Louisiana residents from preparing federal tax returns.

The government’s complaint alleges that Eddie Ferrand, of Monroe, prepares false or fraudulent tax returns through his business, “Mr. Ed’s Tax Service.” The government also brought suit against Glenda Faye Elliott and Jhacoby LaKelsey Toston, both of Monroe; Michael Dwayne Bell, of West Monroe; and William Nathaniel Kennedy, of Rayville-all of whom also allegedly prepare false or fraudulent tax returns.

The complaint alleges that the defendants prepare tax returns that claim fraudulent refunds based on improper deductions, such as fictitious or inflated medical or dental expenses, charitable contributions, and unreimbursed employee expenses. The defendants also allegedly prepare returns claiming fictitious business losses and false business expenses for businesses that their customers do not operate. Working through either Ferrand’s or their own businesses, the defendants have prepared thousands of returns since 2000, allegedly costing the federal treasury more than $45 million for tax years 2000 and 2001 alone, based on the complaint’s projections.

“People who prepare false or fraudulent returns cheat their customers and unfairly shift the tax burden to law-abiding taxpayers,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are working vigorously to stop these systematic abuses of the tax system.”

The complaint also seeks an order requiring the defendants to provide the Justice Department the names, Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of their customers.

You may like these other stories...

IRS audits less than 1 percent of big partnershipsAccording to an April 17 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the IRS audits fewer than 1 percent of large business partnerships, Stephen Ohlemacher of the...
Legislation coming out of Washington just might reduce homeowners' burden for disaster insurance. It's a topic very much on everyone's minds since the mudslide in Oso, Washington. The loss of human life was...
Divorce is hard, and the IRS isn't going to make it any easier. The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to salvage...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.