Justice Department Asks Federal Court to Bar Sarasota Firms and Five Individuals From Preparing Tax Returns
WASHINGTON - The United States has filed a civil injunction suit in federal court seeking to stop Daniel Prewett, Elizabeth George, Frances Carlson, Elsie Chouinard, Natalie Swaney and three firms they work for from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, alleges that Prewett controlled a company that bought Jackson Hewitt tax preparation franchises in Fla. in 1994, using a nominee to conceal Prewett’s ownership and criminal past from Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. According to the government complaint, Jackson Hewitt forced Prewett and his nominee to sell the Jackson Hewitt franchise in late 2006 after he was arrested on charges related to cocaine distribution and laundering drug money.
The suit alleges that the defendants used a number of schemes to under-report customers’ tax liabilities. According to the complaint one customer, a physician, used the defendants’ scheme to claim business tax deductions for the cost and operational expenses of a $781,000 yacht used solely for personal pleasure. The complaint alleges that the defendants’ schemes have cost the U.S. Treasury more than $138 million dollars.
Since 2001, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against more than 250 tax preparers and tax-fraud promoters. Information about these cases is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2007.htm. Information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.
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