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Tax preparer pleads guilty in scheme

U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that the owner of a Castor Gardens tax preparation business pleaded guilty to engaging in a multi-year scheme to assist clients with filing false income tax returns in order to fraudulently increase the amount of the refund they received.

Eric Amaefuna, 65, was charged last April with 29 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns. At the time of the charged conduct, Amaefuna was the owner of American Financial Stewardship, 7053 Bustleton Ave.

According to the indictment, Amaefuna prepared false and fraudulent IRS Personal Income Tax 1040 Forms for client taxpayers for at least tax years 2014 through 2016. The defendant added attachments to the 1040 Forms that were also false, in that they claimed false or inflated employee business expenses, inflated state and local taxes, false or inflated miscellaneous deductions, and losses that were entirely fictitious or falsely inflated. These falsities resulted in the filing of personal income tax returns claiming refunds due to the client taxpayers that they were not entitled to receive.

“The defendant manipulated his clients’ tax filings to suit their own needs at the expense of honest taxpayers,” Williams said. “This case is an important reminder to take seriously the legal obligation to file complete and accurate federal income tax returns as we start the 2022 tax season.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terri A. Marinari. ••

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