Recently, New York attorneys announced the indictment of Mark Goldberg, a Bronx tax preparer, for his participation in a multi-year tax fraud scheme. Goldberg prepared thousands of tax returns for clients that contained millions of dollars in fraudulent, itemized deductions and tax credits that the taxpayers were not legally owed.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, Mark Goldberg consistently, systematically, and brazenly cheated both the United States and New York State treasuries out of $2.5 million in tax revenue by claiming fraudulent credits and deductions for his clients and himself. However, thanks to the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, Goldberg’s alleged seven-year tax crime spree has ended, and he will have to answer for his conduct.”
Goldberg filed tax returns for his clients that contained numerous fabricated and fraudulently inflated tax returns. The returns included higher and inflated education or tuition credits, tuition expenses, un-reimbursed employee business expenses, medical and dental expenses, gifts to charity, business income and losses, rental real estate losses, and earned income tax credits. Goldberg also filed similar fraudulent tax returns for himself.
The Bronx district attorney noted that Goldberg’s acts were extremely egregious in light of the economic downturn. He added that the erroneous tax filings have deprived governments at all levels from giving aid to families in need.
IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Toni Weirauch said that the indictment shows how seriously tax authorities take tax return preparer fraud. Taxpayers should choose a tax return preparer wisely and cautiously “as a taxpayer is ultimately responsible for what is reported on his or her tax return”. Taxpayers should use common sense and ask questions about the preparer and about the decisions the preparer is making regarding the taxpayer’s taxes. If a refund or deduction sounds too good to be true, it probably is.