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New York authorities target fraudulent tax preparers

Responding to evidence gathered by the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, the attorney general pressed charges against two women accused of filing tax returns with false information. Authorities arrested the women, ages 33 and 34, of New York City and the Bronx, respectively, after they allegedly added fictitious nieces and nephews as dependents to tax returns in order to qualify for higher tax refunds.

The Albany City Court oversaw the arraignments of the women who both worked as registered tax preparers. They faced felony charges of attempted grand larceny, grand larceny and filing false information on tax returns.

The attorney general's office continues to work with the state's tax department to uncover more perpetrators of tax fraud. Ongoing investigations are targeting individuals that allegedly filed returns with suspiciously high itemized deductions, unverifiable data or failed to file returns at all.

A person under investigation for tax fraud or other white collar crimes such as embezzlement, identity theft or money laundering, might seek out legal representation prior to answering questions from investigators. An attorney could act to protect the person's rights by explaining what and what does not need to be disclosed during questioning. After an arrest, an attorney could prepare a defense strategy. Consultations with an independent expert, like an accountant, might provide an attorney with information that challenges the interpretations of financial records made by law enforcement. An attorney could also open discussions with a prosecutor and seek a plea bargain that eliminates some of the charges with higher penalties.

Source: My Champion Valley, "Two New York Women Arrested for Tax Fraud", Caroline Strange, April 14, 2017

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