A Nevada tax preparer grew his business through forgery and identity theft--and then sold his puffed-up preparer business to an unsuspecting buyer.
Clocking in at number nine on the IRS:CI top ten tax crime list for 2022, King Isaac Umoren is a Nevada man who perhaps lost his way in the bright lights of Las Vegas. Mr. Umoren was a tax preparer and business owner of the company, Universal Tax Services (UTS).
As we have discussed before, tax preparer fraud is a specific focus of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Proximity confers opportunity and tax preparation offers ample opportunity to commit tax fraud in several ways. Mr. Umoren appears to have taken full advantage of fictitious deductions, fake businesses, and other methods to boost the refunds of his clients though false income tax returns.
From 2012 to 2016, Mr. Umoren filed fraudulent income tax returns and more. To deter IRS suspicion, Mr. Umoren used the taxpayer identification numbers and names of his employees even though he prepared the false tax returns. He required clients to use refund anticipation check (RAC) accounts. With RAC accounts, tax refund checks are sent straight to the account by the IRS. The tax preparer then deducts their fee and forwards the refund to the IRS. Mr. Umoren siphoned off more than his share from refund checks without client approval.
At one point, Mr. Umoren went to the home of a client to obtain his fee for preparing a tax return. Unfortunately, he did so posing as an FBI agent—wearing tactical gear and sporting a fake ID badge. He arrived in a car equipped with flashing police to complete his look.
In 2016, Mr. Umoren decided to sell his business. To do so, he prepared fake documents, forged bank statements, false tax returns, and more to illustrate the high value of the company he wished to sell. He also offered the personal contact information of 12,000 taxpayers—who were not his clients. He eventually sold the business for $3.8 million.
For his efforts, Mr. Umoren was sentenced to 13 years and three months in prison on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, filing false tax returns—and impersonating an FBI agent. At the completion of his sentence, he will serve three years of supervised release and pay $9,699,887 in restitution to victims of his tax crimes and the U.S. Treasury.
Choices led Mr. Umoren to become #9 on the top ten tax crime list for IRS:CI in 2022. If you are involved in a tax crime or are concerned about compliance, speak with a reputable tax attorney for answers.
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