Durham man sentenced to 27 months for filing of false tax returns

 

Date: April 29, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Markeith Jamar Norman was sentenced on April 29, 2022, to 27 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false tax return. Sandra J. Hairston, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, made the announcement.

According to court documents, Norman worked as a professional tax preparer at two tax companies from 2014 until 2019 wherein he made various false claims on behalf of his clients in order to increase tax refunds. Beginning in 2015, Norman prepared and electronically filed at least twenty-three false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns and Income Tax Returns for Single and Joint Files with No Dependents tax returns. The returns contained false reports of education credits, Schedule C businesses, Form 1099 federal tax withholdings, and itemized deductions unbeknownst to his clients. Despite both of Norman's former employers stating that preparers were not authorized to receive cash payments from clients, multiple clients told investigators that Norman requested payment in cash, sometimes up to $500, for tax return preparation. Upon receiving their tax returns, clients were instructed to deposit their checks and pay him in cash. Investigators also uncovered that, beginning in 2014, Norman failed to report any of his income earned as a tax preparer on self-prepared 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns to the Internal Revenue Service. In 2017 and 2018, Norman failed to file any tax returns at all.

Those who might consider preparing false tax returns should be aware of the extremely negative consequences as evidenced today," said Donald "Trey" Eakins Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Field Office. "Today's sentencing again emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America's tax system."

"We are extremely grateful to the agents and agencies involved in this case and every case that secures the integrity of our tax system," said US Attorney Hairston. "This case is another example of the serious consequences associated with filing false returns and it provides justice for those harmed by tax professionals seeking to take advantage of the system."

In addition to his imprisonment, Norman will be required to pay $375,390 in restitution.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Nicole R. Dupre. The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division were involved in the investigation of the case.