The United States has filed a civil suit in the Eastern District of Texas seeking to bar Desmond Chizoba from owning or operating a tax return preparation business and preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.
The complaint also requests that the court require Chizoba, who operated tax preparation stores under the names Liberty Tax Service and Kish Tax Service, to disgorge ill-gotten fees that he obtained from the U.S. Treasury through the alleged false tax return preparation.
According to the government’s complaint, Chizoba prepares returns claiming false credits and fabricated businesses, related losses, and itemized deductions.
For example, the government alleges that Chizoba prepared a return on which he concocted a business for a health insurance industry employee and fabricated a $29,510 loss for the phony business. By repeatedly underreporting tax liabilities and claiming bogus refunds on behalf of his customers, Chizoba has allegedly caused the United States to lose substantial tax revenue.
“Particularly during this time of year, when honest taxpayers are filing their returns, we want the public to know that the Justice Department will pursue those who would abuse our nation’s tax laws,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division Richard Zuckerman. “Fraudulent tax return preparers too often seek to take advantage of their customers and the U.S. Treasury, which undermines our tax system.”
Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.