According to a Department of Justice press release, Babatunde Olusegun Taiwo, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced to serve four years in a federal prison for his part in a fraudulent tax scheme. Although our readers are likely not engaged in any activity as brazen as the defendant in this case, this story nonetheless highlights the investigatory power of the IRS Criminal Investigations and the importance of consulting with an experienced tax defense attorney at the first sign of audit or investigation.
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Court documents indicate that Taiwo, co-conspirator Kevin William and others, engaged in a tax fraud scheme that involved claiming refunds for thousands of taxpayers using stolen information. Investigators determined that participants in the scheme obtained personal information that could be used to file tax returns from a payroll company data breach. Such information was used to file fraudulent tax returns that falsely claimed that refunds were due to the taxpayer.
To avoid immediate detection by the IRS, Taiwo and other co-conspirators used professional identification numbers used by tax preparers that were stolen from a tax preparation business. The co-conspirators directed the IRS to pay out the refunds via check and requested they be sent to Taiwo and Williams’ residences in St. Louis. IRS investigators estimate that returns were fraudulently filed for over 2,000 taxpayers, requesting over $12 million in refunds. Nearly $890,000 of those refunds were actually paid out.
In addition to his term of imprisonment, Taiwo was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release upon his release from physical incarceration. Finally, Taiwo was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS to the tune of $889,712.
As we mentioned above, most taxpayers will not find themselves in a situation like the defendant in this case. Although, when a taxpayer receives a notice that their tax return has been selected for examination or are notified that their case is being further investigated, affected taxpayers may feel as if they are similar to the defendants above, even if they haven’t done anything wrong.
If you receive notice that the IRS or state taxing authorities have chosen your tax return for further review or if you are in an ongoing dispute regarding past tax returns, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney. Not only will your tax lawyer put your mind at ease as to the process and potential exposures, they will work with you to understand your particular situation and develop a strategy that will be aimed at limiting exposures and getting to the best possible outcome.
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The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax examination or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.
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Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company? Absolutely not! See our policies that address this issue here.