Monday, March 25, 2019

Tax Preparer Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison For Fraudulent Scheme To Steal Over $1 Million From His Clients

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that TOM SHIN was sentenced to two years in prison for aiding the preparation of a false tax return and wire fraud.  SHIN pled guilty on November 29, 2018, before U.S. District Court Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who imposed today’s sentence.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Instead of honestly performing the tax services he was hired to do, Tom Shin used his expert knowledge in a scheme to defraud his clients of more than $1.3 million that was intended to pay taxes owed to the federal and state governments.  Today, Shin has been held accountable for breaching his clients’ trust.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint and Indictment to which SHIN pled guilty:
SHIN was hired to prepare joint federal and state tax returns for two individuals (the “Clients”) for tax year 2017.  SHIN showed the Clients completed tax return forms indicating that the Clients owed approximately $1.3 million in taxes.  However, SHIN actually filed false returns on behalf of the Clients without their knowledge, which concealed the Clients’ tax liability.  SHIN then, in connection with applications for extensions of time to file his personal tax returns, directed tax authorities to withdraw approximately $1.3 million from the Clients’ bank account, and then filed personal tax returns seeking an approximately $1.3 million refund.  The net result of the alleged scheme would have been a transfer of approximately $1.3 million from the Clients’ bank account to SHIN.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Florida Landscaper Indicted for Tax Fraud




A Florida man had his initial appearance in court yesterday after being arrested on an indictment charging him with filing false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.
According to the indictment, Joseph J. Ferry III, owned Ferry Enterprises Inc., a residential and commercial landscaping business serving customers in Martin and Saint Lucie County. Ferry Enterprises also provided landscaping services for Martin County and the City of Port Saint Lucie.
Ferry was charged with five counts of filing false corporate income tax returns and five counts of filing false individual income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that fraudulently understated the total income earned by Ferry Enterprises - and Ferry himself - for tax years 2012 through 2016. The indictment alleges that business income was deposited into corporate bank accounts; however, Ferry allegedly used money from the business bank accounts to pay his personal expenses, including payments on his personal mortgage and loans, purchases of firearms, home renovations, and jewelry. Ferry also allegedly withdrew more than $2.9 million in cash from the corporation’s bank accounts.
If convicted, Ferry faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return with the IRS. He also faces substantial monetary penalties and restitution.
An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Allison J. Garnett and Sean Beaty of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case. 
Free Consultation We Solve Tax and Insurance Problems. To speak with an experienced Federal Tax Practitioner and Attorney call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. Don't delay another day. Meet with us personally in our conveniently located New York City office. 

Restaurants We specialize in unpaid sales taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and all Department of Labor issues. *Ask us about Debt Restructuring, including settling judgments, renegotiating bank loans and merchant cash advances ("MCA"). For immediate assistance call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Contractors We specialize in payroll and withholding taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and Workers Compensation insurance audits. To schedule a free consultation call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Miami CPA Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion



A Miami, Florida, certified public accountant (CPA) was sentenced today to 39 months in prison for tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida, and Chief Don Fort, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
“Tax professionals, such as Darryl Sharpton, who use their expertise to commit tax fraud and enrich themselves rather than to assist honest taxpayers will be fully prosecuted by the Department of Justice and held accountable for their criminal conduct,” stated Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “Employment tax fraud is a violation of the trust of employees and all honest taxpayers.” 
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan stated, “Rather than uphold the ethical obligations and professional code of conduct of a dutiful tax professional, Darryl Sharpton defrauded the federal government to avoid paying his own taxes, as well as taxes withheld from his employees’ pay.  As millions of hard-working taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns this season, today’s prison sentence should serve as a reminder of the stiff penalties that will be imposed on those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system.”    
“For years, Darryl Sharpton, a CPA with three decades of public accounting and consulting experience, cheated the government and egregiously evaded the payment of substantial amounts of income taxes,” stated Chief Don Fort, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “Today’s sentencing is an important victory for American taxpayers who play by the rules and have no tolerance for those who fail to pay their fair share. IRS-CI will continue to investigate and recommend prosecution for individuals such as Mr. Sharpton who ignore the law and shun their tax responsibilities.”
In December 2018, Darryl Sharpton, a CPA living in Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to willfully evading the payment of federal income taxes for tax years 2004 through 2008, and 2010. Sharpton was an owner of The Sharpton Group, formerly known as Sharpton, Brunson and Company. The Sharpton Group specialized in financial and management consulting, audit and attestation, and tax and wealth planning. Sharpton filed personal income tax returns for years 2004 through 2008 and 2010, but willfully evaded payment of the taxes he owed for those years. To facilitate his fraud, Sharpton caused The Sharpton Group to pay his personal expenses through its corporate bank accounts, and then falsely stated to an IRS Revenue Officer that he did not pay his personal expenses from the corporate bank accounts.
The indictment also alleged that, after the IRS issued levies and liens against Sharpton to collect his unpaid tax liabilities, Sharpton took affirmative steps to evade the IRS’s collection efforts, including removing himself from The Sharpton Group’s payroll after the IRS issued a levy against his wages in 2007. Sharpton also admitted to not filing personal income tax returns for the years 2009 and 2011 through 2016.
Sharpton also failed to pay over to the IRS payroll taxes for The Sharpton Group for the quarters ending Dec. 31, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014 through Dec 31, 2017.
In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga ordered Sharpton to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $1,380,602 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Christopher J. Clark and Trial Attorneys Mara Strier and Sean Beaty of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Free Consultation We Solve Tax and Insurance Problems. To speak with an experienced Federal Tax Practitioner and Attorney call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. Don't delay another day. Meet with us personally in our conveniently located New York City office. 

Restaurants We specialize in unpaid sales taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and all Department of Labor issues. *Ask us about Debt Restructuring, including settling judgments, renegotiating bank loans and merchant cash advances ("MCA"). For immediate assistance call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Contractors We specialize in payroll and withholding taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and Workers Compensation insurance audits. To schedule a free consultation call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Businesses We settle and restructure business debts, including MCA's, judgments and most insurance claims. To meet with us personally call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tax Preparers Charged with Filing False Returns



The owner and operator of First Premier Tax Service, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tax preparation business and a return preparer working at the business, were charged in connection with a scheme to prepare fraudulent tax returns in order to reduce taxes and inflate federal tax refunds for their clients, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney William McSwain for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
An indictment returned by a federal grand jury charged both Nvahbulai Quisiah and Gofin Kosia, also known as Kafumba Kromah, with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, three counts of wire fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Quisiah was also charged with eight counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of a false tax return. Kosia was charged with nine counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of a false tax return.
According to the indictment, Quisiah and Kosia prepared tax returns for clients for tax years 2009 through 2016 that fraudulently inflated itemized deductions, claimed fictitious Schedule C businesses, and claimed false dependents.  As a result of these false items and deductions, the defendants allegedly inflated claimed tax refunds for their clients.  The indictment alleges that the defendants knew their clients were not entitled to such refunds.  One of the clients was an IRS agent acting in an undercover capacity.  The indictment also alleges that the defendants bought and sold personal identifying information of children in order to falsely claim the children as dependents on tax returns for the defendants’ clients.    
If convicted of aggravated identity theft, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.  Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, while each count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns carries a maximum three year prison term.   The defendants also face a period of supervised release, fines, and the payment of restitution.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek and Department of Justice Tax Division Attorney Ann M. Cherry. 

Free Consultation We Solve Tax and Insurance Problems. To speak with an experienced Federal Tax Practitioner and Attorney call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. Don't delay another day. Meet with us personally in our conveniently located New York City office. 

Restaurants We specialize in unpaid sales taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and all Department of Labor issues. *Ask us about Debt Restructuring, including settling judgments, renegotiating bank loans and merchant cash advances ("MCA"). For immediate assistance call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Contractors We specialize in payroll and withholding taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and Workers Compensation insurance audits. To schedule a free consultation call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Businesses We settle and restructure business debts, including MCA's, judgments and most insurance claims. To meet with us personally call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

 Count On Us. Guaranteed. 
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    We negotiate excellent re-payment plans with IRS and State.
    Missing tax returns prepared and filed in 48 hours, guaranteed. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Crime



Be wary of unsolicited emails and calls asking for personal information. Never share personal information, such as your Social Security number, in response to an unsolicited email or telephone call. If the email or call claims to be from a company with which you do business, call it first to confirm the contact is legitimate.

Secure your mobile devices. Apply software updates that patch known vulnerabilities as soon as they become available. Use security features built into your device such as a passcode, and use programs that encrypt data and remotely wipe contents if the device is lost or stolen.

Be careful with Wi-Fi hotspots. Public wireless hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your mobile device while you are connected. Limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging into sensitive accounts.

Know your apps. Be sure to thoroughly review the details and specifications of an app before you download it. Review and understand the privacy policy of each mobile app. Be aware that the app may request access to your location and personal information.

Be cautious about the information you share on social media. Avoid posting your birthdate, telephone number, home address, or images that identify your job or hobbies. This information may often reveal answers to security questions used to reset passwords, making you a possible target of scammers looking to access your accounts and secured information.

Use strong passwords. Create unique passwords for all your accounts. Use 10 to 12 characters in a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols. Individuals should regularly change their passwords as well.

Change your security questions. Don't use the same security questions on multiple accounts. Be careful to select security questions for which only you know the answer. Make sure the answers cannot be guessed or found by searching social media or the internet.

Turn on two-step verification to access accounts. To enhance the security of your account, require your password and an extra security code to verify your identity whenever you sign-in to your accounts, where available.

Beware of phishing. Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. It is best to open attachments only when you are expecting them and know what they contain, even if you know the sender. And be wary of calls or texts asking for your personal information.

Use automatic updates and back-up data. Make sure automatic updates are turned on for your software and that you back up all information.

Monitor your financial accounts. Review your bank, credit card, and account billing statements carefully to check for suspicious activity. Report any suspicious charges immediately to the responsible financial institution.

Check your credit report regularly. If you identify inaccurate, suspicious or unusual activity on your consumer credit report notify the consumer credit reporting agency and the affected financial entity immediately.

Consider placing a security freeze on your credit. New Yorkers can "freeze" their credit to prevent prospective creditors from accessing their credit file and opening accounts in their names. You can do so by contacting:

                                      Experian: 1-888-397-3742
                                      TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
                                      Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Keep records. Keep all notes and records about the security breach in the event fraudulent activity arises later.

Free Consultation We Solve Tax and Insurance Problems. To speak with an experienced Federal Tax Practitioner and Attorney call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. Don't delay another day. Meet with us personally in our conveniently located New York City office. 

Restaurants We specialize in unpaid sales taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and all Department of Labor issues. *Ask us about Debt Restructuring, including settling judgments, renegotiating bank loans and merchant cash advances ("MCA"). For immediate assistance call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Contractors We specialize in payroll and withholding taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and Workers Compensation insurance audits. To schedule a free consultation call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Businesses We settle and restructure business debts, including MCA's, judgments and most insurance claims. To meet with us personally call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

 Count On Us. Guaranteed. 
    Same day and emergency appointments available.
    We negotiate excellent re-payment plans with IRS and State.

    Missing tax returns prepared and filed in 48 hours, guaranteed. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

New York Tax Return Preparer Guilty of Tax Crimes & Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme! Were You a Victim of Afolabi Ajelero, Hakeem Bamgbala, Michael Campbell & Mo-Betta Ventures?




 GUILTY AS CHARGED A Springfield Gardens, New York, resident was convicted yesterday by a federal jury for conspiring to commit aggravated identity theft and for two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
GUILTY AS SIN According to the evidence presented at trial, Afolabi Ajelero, the owner of Mo-Betta Ventures Inc., a tax preparation business located in Springfield Gardens, New York, conspired with others to possess and use without lawful authority one or more means of identification of another person. He also filed false corporate income tax returns for the 2014 and 2015 tax years for his business.
 GUILTY AS CHARGED Ajelero was acquitted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft counts.
Ajelero faces a maximum sentence of five years for the conspiracy conviction and a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each count of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false returns. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.
GUILTY AS SIN On Feb. 15, 2019, co-defendant Hakeem Bamgbala pleaded guilty to 18 counts of wire fraud, 22 counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of conspiring to commit aggravated identity theft, and one count of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return. On July 31, 2018, co-defendant Michael Campbell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft. A sentencing date has not been set for Bamgbala and Campbell.



Free Consultation We Solve Tax and Insurance Problems. To speak with an experienced Federal Tax Practitioner and Attorney call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. Don't delay another day. Meet with us personally in our conveniently located New York City office. 

Restaurants We specialize in unpaid sales taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and all Department of Labor issues. *Ask us about Debt Restructuring, including settling judgments, renegotiating bank loans and merchant cash advances ("MCA"). For immediate assistance call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Contractors We specialize in payroll and withholding taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and Workers Compensation insurance audits. To schedule a free consultation call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Businesses We settle and restructure business debts, including MCA's, judgments and most insurance claims. To meet with us personally call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

IRS Wins PTIN Case, another great article by the Learned Tax Attorney Roger Russell



The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has given the IRS a victory in its quest to charge fees for issuing and renewing Preparer Tax Identification Numbers. The IRS was authorized by Congress in 1976 to require a tax preparer to list an identifying number on any returns they prepared, and specified that the number would be the preparer’s Social Security number. Although PTINs as a substitute for the preparer’s Social Security number have been around since 1999, they weren’t required to be used until 2010. That’s when the IRS began charging for them. And although the service’s attempt to regulate preparers was nullified by the D.C. Circuit Court in 2014, the court left intact the IRS’s ability to require and charge for PTINs.  A group of tax return preparers filed a class action lawsuit challenging the PTIN fee, Brittany Montrois, Class of More Than 700,000 Similarly Situated Individuals And Businesses, Et. Al., v. U.S.The IRS lost in the district court, which found the agency lacks statutory authority to charge the fee. On appeal, the circuit court reversed in favor of the IRS, concluding that it acted within its authority under the Independent Offices Appropriations Act in charging the fee. It further concluded that the IRS’s decision to charge the fee was not arbitrary and capricious. However, the circuit court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings, “including an assessment of whether the amount of the PTIN fee unreasonably exceeds the costs to the IRS to issue and maintain PTINs.” The decision means that preparers won’t be getting any refunds of the fees they paid for PTINs, as the lower court ordered, since the circuit court vacated that part of the district court’s judgment.



Free Consultation We Solve Tax and Insurance Problems. To speak with an experienced Federal Tax Practitioner and Attorney call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. Don't delay another day. Meet with us personally in our conveniently located New York City office. 

Restaurants We specialize in unpaid sales taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and all Department of Labor issues. *Ask us about Debt Restructuring, including settling judgments, renegotiating bank loans and merchant cash advances ("MCA"). For immediate assistance call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Contractors We specialize in payroll and withholding taxes, installment agreements, audit representation and Workers Compensation insurance audits. To schedule a free consultation call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

Businesses We settle and restructure business debts, including MCA's, judgments and most insurance claims. To meet with us personally call (212) 974-3435 or contact us online. 

 Count On Us. Guaranteed. 
    Same day and emergency appointments available.
    We negotiate excellent re-payment plans with IRS and State.
    Missing tax returns prepared and filed in 48 hours, guaranteed. 
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Tax Preparer Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison For Fraudulent Scheme To Steal Over $1 Million From His Clients

Selig & Associates Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that TOM SHIN wa...