When we talk about IRS scams, we’re usually referring to chain-smoking Indian dudes packed into a dingy call center trying to scam Google Play cards out of your grandma. Although few Americans might say they trust the IRS, I think we can all agree that at the end of the day, an overwhelming number of […]
Presumably, because the IRS wouldn’t possibly think to question liens taken out against government employees:
Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao, 28, of Rancho Santa Margarita and Las Vegas, is accused of taking out 22 false liens ranging from $25 million to $300 million against employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, as well as false liens against four federal judges, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Young Mr Cao wasn’t just doing this out of spite. Oh my lord, no. He had a theory behind his request for $20 billion in refunds:
Cao, whose business was Phoenix Financial Management Group in Lake Forest, filed fraudulent forms with the IRS on behalf of six clients “that grossly overstate his customers income and withholding to get grossly inflated tax refund checks,” according to a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Cao used a theory called “redemption” or “commercial redemption” – which prosecutors called a “rejected tax defier theory.” This theory claims that the U.S. Treasury keeps millions in a secret treasury account for each taxpayer. The secret account can be used to pay a taxpayer’s debts and tax liabilities if a taxpayer sends the IRS and banks certain documents, the theory goes.
“Cao’s theory is complete fiction,” the complaint reads.
Jesus, man. Not even an original crackpot theory. Spend some of those 223 possible years working on developing something new.
Man accused of $20 billion tax fraud [OC Register]
California Man Indicted in Las Vegas for Filing False Liens Against Federal Employees & Filing False Tax Forms [DOJ]
Give It Up Tax Protesters, You’re Just Screwing Yourselves
Dick Jenkins is a bad, bad tax accountant; the Justice Department says so.
“Given the sheer brazenness of Jenkins’s conduct, he is essentially stealing … from the U.S. Treasury,” said U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball, who entered the civil injuction against him last week. Jenkins was accused of filing $393 million in fraudulent tax refunds, including a single $210 million dollar refund for one customer and $402,920 for himself that he didn’t have coming (I don’t care how good you think you are at deductions, that’s BS).
Jenkins was not barred by the court from doing taxes forever because he screwed his clients (they received $294,292 in fake refunds) but because “Jenkins’s conduct results in irreparable harm to the United States.” You heard right, the Salt Lake Federal Court is pissed because he tried to remove $393 million from the Treasury through tax fraud, who cares about the clients?
Maybe this is what the PCAOB was talking about when they mentioned unusual transactions without giving specifics. I’d say it qualifies.
• Dodd Seeks U.S. Inquiry Into Lehman’s Accounting [DealBook]
Late on Friday, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Department of Justice investigate Lehman Brothers’ “accounting manipulation” that contributed to its bankruptcy. According to his letter, Dodd also wants the DOJ to investigate “other companies that may have engaged in similar accounting manipulation with a view to prosecution of employees or agents who contributed to any violations of the law.”
With the exception of Lehman, Dodd did not name any companies specifically. He wrote, “We must work tirelessly to reduce the incidence of financial fraud in order to restore trust and confidence in the financial markets. A task force investigation and taking appropriate Federal actions in these matters will contribute to these goals.”
• An Ernst & Young Response: Dear Audit Committee Member… [Re: The Auditors]
Ernst & Young is on the offensive, telling everyone who will listen their position on the results of the Bankruptcy Examiner’s report. The ubiquitous Enron and Andersen comparisons in the MSM — while cliché and misleading — have motivated E&Y to reach to audit committee members that ulitmately decide whether E&Y will be providing services to their companies. Francine McKenna posted the letter noting, “I guess they know where their bread is buttered: With the guys who hire and fire them in the Fortune 500.”
The firm addresses everything from the actual accounting, “The media reports that these were ‘sham transactions’ designed to off-load Lehman’s ‘bad assets’ are inaccurate,” to whistleblower Matthew Lee’s letter, “When we learned of the letter, our lead partner promptly called the Audit Committee Chair; we also insisted that Lehman’s management inform the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Bank of the letter.”
Naturally, the firm plans to defend themselves vigorously stating, “EY is confident we will prevail should any of the potential claims identified against us be pursued.”
• Obama Hails Vote on Health Care as Answering ‘the Call of History’ [NYT]
Last night, the Senate bill was approved by the House, 219-212, and it could be headed back to the Senate for final approval as early as this week. In a shocker, Democrat and GOP views on the bill don’t seem to be converging as one Dem legislator described it as “the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century,” while a GOP member described the bill as, “a fiscal Frankenstein.”
Earlier this week we learned that the hammer will be coming down on small tax prep shops.
Despite the news of the fresh measures, that didn’t prevent the DOJ from getting some of the riffraff off the streets this week.
On the heels of the IRS’s plan to begin regulating tax preparers, the Justice Department announced that it has filed six lawsuits this week to stop preparers charged with generating fraudulent income tax returns.
The cases included five civil injunction lawsuits in Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago filed against several individuals and their tax preparation services. However, the trend didn’t start this week. In December, the government filed a civil injunction suit against 12 individuals and entities in Providence, R.I.
Long/short: thousands of tax returns were falsified by throwing all kinds of deductions on the returns that couldn’t be substantiated including cash donated to The Human Fund and bogus business expenses.
As Joe noted on Wednesday, it’s difficult to reason that even after the new requirements are in place, some of the more dodgy tax preparers won’t slip through the cracks. Consumers dumbfounded by our mind-job of a tax code will continue to going to shiesty 1040 jockeys that will promise low fees and bigger refunds. Ultimately they’ll pay more in the long run.
Justice Department Cracks Down on Tax Preparers [Web CPA]
Or your perceived knowledge. One would assume that if you wrote a book titled Cracking the Code: The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America, that you would be very familiar with this:
That’s the code. Four thousand some-odd pages of pure ecstasy.
Tax Update Blog tells us about Peter Hendrickson who is the author of Cracking the Code and his problems doing just that:
DOJ press release via TUB:
The 10-count indictment charged that for the calendar years 2000, 2002,2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Hendrickson filed IRS Form 1040 (income tax returns) and/or IRS Form 4852 (Substitute for Form W-2) stating under penalties of perjury that he had received no wages in those years. The indictment indicated that he had in fact received wages in those years in varying amounts. The evidence produced at trial established that Hendrickson had in fact received taxable wages and that his claims to the contrary were knowingly false. In reaching the verdicts, the jury rejected Hendrickson’s defense that he had a good faith belief that his statements regarding his lack of wages were true.
Followed by Joe Kristan’s thoughts:
The tax code is an awful mess, and Congress never passes up a chance to make it worse. That doesn’t mean there is a secret formula from the Illuminati that you can invoke to make it part for you like the Red Sea did for Moses.
Or that you can’t publish a book that probably cites said formula.
Time to Get a New Code-Cracker [Tax Update Blog]