A California tax prep office is robbed, plus our weekly roundup of tax fraud cases.
Pocatello, Idaho: Preparer Jonathan Peirsol, 42, has pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false return.
According to court documents, from approximately 2009 through 2012, Peirsol prepared false individual income tax returns under the name JJ Accounting Inc. He falsified returns without his clients’ knowledge by adding items such as medical and education expenses.
For some of the returns, Peirsol, who also owns and operates J&J Chemical Inc. in Blackfoot, Idaho, also diverted a portion of the refund into a bank account he controlled. He also failed to report on his own returns the fees he earned from his prep business.
Sentencing is May 11. Peirsol faces a maximum of three years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. He consented to the entry of a permanent injunction barring him from preparing income tax returns for any individual or entity other than himself.
Fort Wayne, Ind.: Preparer Frankie Williams, a.k.a. “Molly,” has pleaded guilty to two counts of an indictment that charged her with submitting false claims for payment to the IRS in connection with fraudulent returns.
Co-defendant Cavasierre Russell, a.k.a. “Vassi,” pleaded guilty last summer to one count of submitting a false claim in connection with a fraudulent return and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and was ordered to pay $45,983 restitution to the IRS.
Two other defendants, Ronald Ward and Cassandra Ward, were charged under separate indictments. Ronald Ward pleaded guilty last summer to one count of submitting a false claim in connection with a fraudulent return and was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison and ordered to pay $48,311 restitution to the IRS. Cassandra Ward, a.k.a. “Kitten,” pleaded guilty a year ago to one count of submitting a false claim in connection with a fraudulent return and was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay $112,078.64 restitution to the IRS and the Social Security Administration.
San Ysidro, Calif.: An employee at a prep business was robbed at gunpoint, police told news outlets. The gun-wielding robber approached the victim as he stepped out of the business, ordered him back inside and demanded the victim hand over a bag that contained an unknown amount of cash, then fled, according to published reports.
Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.