The following is a summary of the latest news about accountants, both public and private, whose careers have taken a turn for the worse.
A federal court has permanently barred John Lewis, Artels James, and Perry Wright from preparing federal tax returns for others, according to a Justice Department announcement. The court found that the three men, working under the trade name “Tax World” in Birmingham, AL, regularly and repeatedly prepared federal tax returns using at least one of three schemes to generate erroneously large tax refunds for their customers. According to the court, in two of the schemes they prepared tax returns with false or overstated claims for the earned income tax credit, and in the third scheme they created fictitious business deductions that falsely reduced their customers’ tax liabilities. The court also found that Lewis, James and Wright failed to identify themselves properly on the returns they prepared under the “Tax World” business name.
Tax return preparer John Karundo Mukundi, 33, of Topeka, KS, has been indicted on charges of filing false federal income tax returns as part of a scheme to obtain loans on the anticipated refunds. Mukundi has been charged with 14 counts of filing a false federal income tax return, 12 counts of wire fraud, and 12 counts of aggravated identity theft. Mukundi is accused of using the names and Social Security numbers of real people to file false federal income tax returns.
Tax preparer Larry E. Snow of Seward, PA has been indicted on charges that he falsified 36 income tax returns for 10 of his clients and told two taxpayers and an undercover agent to lie to the Internal Revenue Service. Snow, 61, prepared false returns from 2005 through 2009, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton. Snow is accused of preparing tax returns that falsified his clients' charitable donations, local taxes paid, unreimbursed employment expenses, and spending on medical, dental and legal services.
Thomas Thorndike, 60 of New Milford, CT has been charged with 15 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation of a false federal income tax return, and one count of obstruction of the U.S. Internal Revenue laws. According to the indictment, Thorndike, the founder and owner of Cornerstone Financial Services of Woodbury, CT, in the course of preparing many of his clients' tax returns, improperly reduced the amount of tax due in a variety of ways, including falsely claiming deductions for charitable contributions, and falsely claiming deductions for job expenses. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.