Tax fraud blotter: millions of dollars lost


Living on borrowed time; seed capital; two down; and other highlights of recent tax evasion cases.

Ringgold, Louisiana: Tax preparer Angelena Adams, aka Angelena Morris, 52, of Princeton, Louisiana, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and one year of probation for defrauding the IRS.

Adams, who pleaded guilty in March, worked at a tax preparation company from 2008 to 2015. From 2012 until 2015, she opened and operated Angie’s tax service. Angie’s business income was deposited into her personal bank account.

Adams did not report business income on his 1040 for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 tax years. Around October 2014, Adams completed and filed a false return for the 2013 tax year stating that his adjusted gross income was $166,011; it was much more than that, with gross receipts totaling $702,855 in 2013 for tax preparation.

Adams was also ordered to pay $188,328 in restitution.

Prairie Village, Kansas: Joel Jerome Tucker was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison for engaging in two frauds involving millions of dollars in bogus payday loan debt and tax evasion totaling more than $8 million.

Tucker, working at various companies, provided payday loan business services. Its company names have changed over the years; the main company was eData Solutions, which did not make loans directly to borrowers, but collected information about loan applications, called leads, and sold those leads to some 70 payday lender customers. eData also provided software to payday lenders.

Tucker and the other owners of eData sold the company to the Wyandotte Indian tribe in 2012. Tucker still kept a file of 7.8 million leads he had acquired through eData and used them to create fake debt portfolios . Tucker received as much as $7.3 million from the sale of fake debt wallets in just two years, among other offences.

In April 2014, the Tax Court issued a ruling that Tucker owed tax shortfalls from 2007 and 2008. The total amount owed in 2014 with interest and penalties was $8,057,079.95. For the 2014 through 2016 tax years, neither Tucker personally nor any of his companies filed federal income tax returns. He now owes some $12 million in taxes, interest and penalties for 2007 to 2014.

Tucker told IRS agents that he had no income and lived on borrowed money, including from his mother; bank accounts showed that Tucker was sending money to his mother rather than borrowing from her. He used nominee bank accounts to conceal income and assets and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal expenses such as vehicles, chartered jets, travel and entertainment, and residence.

Tucker, who pleaded guilty in 2020, was also ordered to pay $8,057,079 in restitution to the IRS and forfeit $5,000 from the government.

Watertown, South Dakota: Businessman Dean Minnerath was sentenced to 30 months in prison and one year on probation for filing a false statement.

Minnerath, who pleaded guilty in January, owned and operated Discount Seeds Inc. and understated his income on his 2014 tax return by reporting personal expenses as business expenses. He failed to include more than $1,000,000 of income, and owed an additional tax of $404,445.

He agreed to pay the additional income tax he owed for the 2009 through 2013 tax years. At the time of sentencing, Minnerath had paid $1,358,990 in income tax. He must also pay a $50,000 fine, $1,358,990 in restitution and a $100 assessment.

Pemberton, New Jersey: John Barry Jr. was found guilty of conspiring with individuals in four other states in a “mortgage collection” tax fraud and helping to file false statements, among other tax offenses.

From March 2015 to 2016, Barry and his conspirators told their clients they could extinguish their outstanding mortgage debts by getting refunds. Barry and his conspirators filed forms with the IRS that fraudulently claimed that the financial institutions had withheld and paid substantial taxes on behalf of Barry’s clients, even though no such payment had taken place. Barry then asked the clients to file false statements claiming large refunds based on the false deductions.

These bogus withholding claims caused the IRS to issue over $3 million in refunds. Barry typically charged each customer a fee of 20-35% of the refund, then shared the fee with some conspirators.

He also did not file his own 2016 return despite earning more than the filing threshold, nor did he file or pay any taxes on the scheme income during that year. of taxation.

Sentencing is Dec. 1, when he faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the IRS, three years on each count of aiding and abetting the filing of false statements, three years for obstruction of domestic tax laws and one year for failure to file a return.

Durham, North Carolina: Tax preparer Audrey Renetta Odom was sentenced to 15 months in prison for conspiracy to evade taxes.

From 2012 to 2016, Odom conspired with Karen Jones and Andrea Pasley to prepare fake returns for customers. The statements fraudulently claimed false education or dependent credits or manipulated clients’ income to qualify for larger income tax credits.

Odom admitted that some clients have been charged up to $2,000 for tax preparation. According to an analysis of falsely claimed education credits, the tax loss exceeds $1.2 million.

Jones previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 22 months in prison. Pasley pleaded guilty in May and will be sentenced on October 29.

Odom was also sentenced to three years of probation and paid some $1,239,847 in restitution to the United States.

Fort Worth, TX: Former IRS revenue officer Sonya Vivar was sentenced to three years in prison for obstructing federal tax laws.

She pleaded guilty in November and admitted to trying to conceal her personal relationship with CJB, which is under investigation by the IRS. CJB operated a business that defaulted on its employment taxes and only purchased the business after Vivar was assigned to oversee collection efforts against it. Vivar was aware that CBJ had acquired the company and sold its assets at a profit or transferred the assets into newly formed business entities.

Authorities said the IRS lost the chance to collect more than $4 million in taxes.

Washington D.C.: Tax preparer Brittany Patterson of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States.

From January to April 2015, she and others conspired to file false returns for clients of Pelicans Income Tax and Payroll Services, a tax preparation company in Kenner and Westwego, Louisiana. Patterson and others prepared returns claiming false income and withholdings. Patterson also filed a statement for herself that claimed a false dependent, after obtaining the personal identifying information of a client’s dependent without the client’s knowledge.

Patterson and his conspirators caused a total federal tax loss exceeding $550,000.

Sentencing is January 5. Patterson faces a maximum of five years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

In November 2019, Patterson pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to defraud the United States for filing false returns for clients of another tax preparation company, Crown Tax Service. She was to be sentenced on August 5 for this case.

Syracuse, NY: Tax preparer Phoenix Phan, 62, pleaded guilty to filing a false statement for herself and aiding and abetting the filing of a false statement.

Phan admitted that she did not report gross receipts on her personal income tax returns for the 2013 to 2017 tax years. She also admitted that she aided and aided others in filing false federal tax returns during the same period, including incorrectly reporting business income that the taxpayer did not earn, rental losses, and inaccurate filing status.

Sentencing is November 30. Phan faces up to three years in prison on each count, as well as a supervised release of up to a year. Phan faces a fine of up to $100,000 on each count. She agreed to pay at least $222,999 in restitution to the IRS.

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