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TAX PROSECUTION HIGHLIGHTS
Convicted Defendants in Tax Cases Serving Federal Prison Time
DALLAS - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas and the Dallas Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, announced highlights of their recent work in defending and enforcing the nation's tax laws. The Northern District of Teas has prosecuted numerous non-filers, tax preparers, and tax filers who have violated federal law; most have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison, without the possibility of parole.
Tax Preparer Sentenced to Nearly Seven Years in Federal Prison
Teddy Gatamba, is currently serving an 81-month sentence in federal prison following his conviction at trial in September 2009 for conspiring to defraud the government with respect to claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. According to court documents, Gatamba obtained the names and social security numbers of numerous individuals and used that personal information to prepare false income tax returns, without the knowledge or consent of the individuals. He prepared the returns using bogus employer names and making bogus claims of overpayment of taxes, and then filed the returns electronically. Refund Anticipation Loans, in the form of checks and Refund Anticipation Value Cards were issued, based on the false income tax returns, in the names of the individuals on the bogus tax returns. Gatamba and others then cashed the checks and withdrew funds from ATMs using the Refund Anticipation Value Cards. Evidence presented at trial showed that there was an intended loss to the government of more than $2 million.
Fort Worth Tax Preparer Sentenced To 18 Years in Federal Prison
Joyce M. Simmons, who did business as Diamond Notary and Tax Service, is currently serving an 18-year federal prison sentence following her guilty plea in June 2009 to six counts of preparing and presenting a materially false tax return to the IRS. In addition, she was ordered to pay $28,261,295 in restitution to the IRS. Simmons admitted that six of the returns she submitted were false and fraudulent in that each tax return represented that the taxpayers were entitled, under IRS law, to claim exemptions, deductions, credits, or refunds, to which she well knew they were not entitled. During the sentencing hearing, the judge concluded that Simmons had also obstructed justice by lying under oath on a number of occasions and by fraudulently transferring more than $1 million worth of property after she became aware that the IRS was investigating her.
Dallas Tax Preparers Receive Lengthy Federal Prison Sentences for Roles in Conspiracy
Dallas resident, Fabian Muyaba, is currently serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for conspiring to aid and assist in the preparation of false and fraudulent income tax returns. He was also ordered to pay $2.6 in restitution to the IRS. Muyaba, and co-defendant Joseph Mudekunye, a part-time Dallas resident, and Como, Texas, resident Nichelle Henson, who also worked as tax preparers, were each convicted at trial in June 2009 on one count of conspiracy to aid and assist in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent returns. In addition, Mudekunye was convicted on three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent income tax returns and two counts of using a means of identification of another to commit a federal offense. Muyaba and Henson were each convicted on six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent income tax returns.
Mudekunye is currently serving a 97-month federal prison sentence; he was also ordered to pay more than $3.4 million in restitution to the IRS. Henson is currently serving her 48-month federal prison sentence; she was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to the IRS.
Evidence at trial revealed that Zimbabwe citizens, Mudekunye and Muyaba, and Henson, who worked as tax preparers at Reliable Express Tax Service and Reliable Professional Tax Service, on Skillman Street in Dallas and at Efficient Tax Service and/or Proficient Tax Services LLC, conspired together to prepare and file false and fraudulent IRS Individual Tax Returns and profited from those fraudulent filings. The government presented further evidence that the defendants willfully and fraudulently reduced the amount of tax that was due to the IRS for their clients by falsely claiming: head of household status, dependents, business expenses, education credits, earned income credit and federal telephone excise tax credits. In some instances, Mudekunye unlawfully used the name and Social Security Number of another person to falsely claim those individuals as dependents of some tax payers. For their services, the defendants collected substantial cash payments from clients for the return preparation, some clients paying up to $1,900 to have a simple Form 1040 or 1040A prepared. The defendants concealed the fact from their clients that they deducted substantial fees from the clients' Refund Anticipation Loan checks. In addition, the government presented evidence that the defendants submitted returns using others' electronic filer identification numbers, rather than their own, to prevent the conspiracy from being discovered.
Former Investment Advisor Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison
Lanas Evans Troxler, a licensed investment advisor and estate planner, is serving a 40-month federal prison sentence following his conviction at trial for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the IRS laws, attempting to evade and defeat tax and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
According to evidence presented at trial, as a licensed investment advisor and estate planner, Troxler, who did business as Trust Management Services, Troxler Insurance Agency, Contingent Liability Services, Troxler Financial Services and Troxler Advisory Services, sold financial and tax advice to his clients. The tax loss from Troxler's activities was more than $630,000.
At trial, evidence was presented that beginning in November 1997, Troxler set up a complex series of sham offshore entities in the Turks & Caicos Islands for himself and his clients to make the income appear to be foreign-earned. Troxler and his clients retained full control over their assets, businesses, and income earned from them, and the income was taxable and should have been reported on federal individual and business income tax returns. Trial evidence also showed that Troxler sent a series of letters to an IRS Special Agent and a former IRS Commissioner stating, among others things, that he was not a U.S. citizen but an inhabitant of Texas, a Republic established by the Spanish Land Grant.
Brownfield, Texas, Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Failing to File
Donald Agnew, a resident of Brownfield, Texas, in Terry County, is currently serving a 24-month federal prison sentence following his guilty plea in June 2009 to one count of tax evasion. Agnew was also ordered to pay nearly $72,000 in restitution to the IRS. Agnew admitted receiving approximately $191,722 in gross income in 2006 and to avoid paying income tax due, failed to file an income tax return. He also admitted trying to evade paying his taxes by filing a W-4 form with his employer asserting that he was not subject to federal tax withholding; by filing a Form W-8 stating he was a foreign person and exempt from federal taxation; and by filing Forms 6540 and Affidavits of Citizenship and Domicile with this employer stating that he was a foreign person and was not required by law to pay taxes.
Castro County, Texas, Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Preparing a False Return
Judy Darlene Welch, of Dimmitt, Texas, is currently serving a 36-month federal prison sentence for making or subscribing to a false tax return. She was also ordered to pay nearly $179,000 in restitution to the IRS. She pleaded guilty to the offense in September 2009, admitting that during tax years 2003, 2004, and 2005, while she oversaw bookkeeping and banking activities for several businesses, she diverted approximately $622,875 from some of the business accounts and omitted the income on her tax returns.
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