Trucker, Tax Preparer Sued for $350M Fraudulent Tax Schemes

Charles B. Eden, a St. Louis truck driver and tax return preparer who allegedly lists improper deductions on his customers’ income tax returns was sued by the Justice Department this week. The civil injunction suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, alleges that Eden prepared returns that fraudulently claimed deductions for non-existent or grossly inflated charitable donations and business expenses.

The suit was filed December 2, but not announced until today, after Eden was served with a copy of the complaint. The government seeks an order permanently barring Eden from preparing federal tax returns for others.

According to the complaint, Eden has prepared nearly 500 tax returns for customers since 1998. Each of the 33 Eden-prepared returns that the IRS has audited so far contained at least one improper deduction. The complaint says that the IRS projects that Eden’s misconduct has cost the U.S. Treasury about $3.5 million.

“The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service are working methodically to halt the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. “People who prepare returns claiming false deductions are cheating honest taxpayers and creating legal problems for their customers.”

The complaint also seeks an order requiring Eden to provide the Justice Department the names, Social Security numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of his customers.

Source, U.S. Justice Department

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