U.S. Sues Texas Man to Halt Alleged Tax Fraud Schemes
WASHINGTON – The United States has sued a Texas man, seeking to permanently bar him from preparing federal tax returns for customers and from promoting what the complaint identifies as tax fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleges that Thell G. Prueitt of Kingsland, Texas has promoted tax fraud schemes through several companies and organizations he operates. The government complaint lists the companies as Grandview Prayer and Healing Retreat Center, Fresh Start Funding Group, Fresh Start Funding Group, Taxpayer Education Association, and Thell G. Prueitt & Friends.
The complaint alleges that for years Prueitt has promoted a variety of tax fraud schemes, including a sham home-business scheme organized by Renaissance, The Tax People, which was shut down by a Kansas state court in 2004. The government’s complaint alleges that after Prueitt left Renaissance, he began promoting similar home-business schemes sold by the HBO Tax Academy and Tax Reduction Institute. The promotional materials are alleged to have falsely claimed that customers could convert non-deductible personal expenses into deductible business expenses and be “audit proof.”
Prueitt also allegedly promoted a scheme that helped customers claim improper tax deductions related to purported business use of pay phones and ATMs. The suit alleges that the equipment was grossly overvalued to enable large tax deductions and credits.
Since 2001, the Justice Department has obtained injunctions against more than 255 tax preparers and tax-fraud promoters. More information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website at www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2007.htm. More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division can be found at www.usdoj.gov/tax.
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