Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Federal court shuts down KCK tax-return preparer

U.S. Department of Justice

A  federal court in Kansas City, Kan., has permanently barred Ahferom Goitom from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.

The civil injunction order, to which Goitom consented without admitting the allegations against him, was signed by Judge John W. Lungstrum of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

The case is one of five similar lawsuits (the others were filed in Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Chicago; and Dayton, Ohio) to shut down four of the largest Instant Tax Service franchise owners, as well as the Dayton-based corporate franchisor of the Instant Tax Service brand—ITS Financial LLC.

The government complaint in the Kansas case alleges that Goitom managed an Instant Tax Service store in Kansas City, Kan., where he prepared false and fraudulent income tax returns for others.

The United States accused Goitom of forging forms W-2, filing returns improperly based on paycheck stubs rather than W-2 wage statements, fabricating income for phony businesses to obtain larger tax credits, claiming false education tax credits and filing tax returns without customer authorization.

The complaint also alleges that Goitom sold false and deceptive loan products to Instant Tax Service customers.

According to the government complaint, the Instant Tax Service store Goitom managed in Kansas City is owned by his brother and co-defendant, Semere Tsehaye. The suit against Tsehaye is still pending.

In the past decade the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop the promotion of tax fraud schemes and the preparation of fraudulent returns.