Justice Dept. Sues to Halt Alleged Internet Tax Scam

Eariler this month the Justice Department asked a federal court in Atlanta to bar Jonathan D. Luman, of Lovejoy, Georgia, from selling an alleged tax scam via the Internet.

According to the civil injunction complaint, Luman operates websites that sell bogus documents, including a manual known as the "Tax Buster Guide," containing forms which customers are told to submit to the IRS in lieu of tax returns. Luman allegedly told customers that the documents would allow them to reclaim their "sovereign citizen" status and eliminate liability for federal income taxes.

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The complaint contends that the manual, which is sold for $49.95 with blank forms and for $299.00 with completed forms, has been sold to customers in 41 states.

The Justice Department’s complaint also seeks an order directing Luman to give the Department of Justice any records that identify his customers, including their names, street and e-mail addresses, and Social Security numbers. In addition, the complaint seeks an order to require Luman to post the court order on his websites.

"Illegal tax scams, many using the Internet, cost honest taxpayers billions of dollars every year," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to stopping these schemes.”

Scams purporting to “de-tax” individuals are on the IRS's "Dirty Dozen" list.

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