Former IRS employee arrested for assisting in preparation of false tax returns, identity theft

 

Date: March 25, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Frederick Louis, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was indicted on 16 counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, 4 counts of wire fraud, and 4 counts of aggravated identity theft. On March 18, 2022, Louis was arrested by IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents.

The indictment alleges that Louis served as a "ghost preparer," meaning that he prepared tax returns for compensation but failed to sign or otherwise declare the tax returns he prepared for other individuals. Louis worked as a Tax Examiner for the IRS from 1985 to 1994. It is alleged that due to his prior IRS employment, Louis knew that by law individuals who are paid to prepare or assist in preparing tax returns must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and sign and include their PTIN on the returns they prepare. Louis also held himself out to be an accountant who prepared tax returns for pay or as a favor to friends. In actuality, Louis does not have an accounting degree, is not a Certified Public Accountant, and did not have a PTIN.

It is alleged that from at least January 2016 and continuing through at least March 2021, Louis prepared tax returns that contained false Schedule C business expenses, false Schedule F farming expenses, false Schedule A itemized deductions, claimed false dependents, and/or claimed false filing statuses on certain tax returns to generate fraudulent inflated tax refunds to which the taxpayer clients were not entitled. It is further alleged that Louis allocated portions of the refunds to himself, often unbeknownst to his client by directing the fraudulently inflated refunds be direct deposited in one of the following ways: (1) the entire refund was sent to Louis or (2) some portion of the refund was sent to bank accounts owned or controlled by Louis. As a result of the scheme, the IRS issued over $191,000 in fraudulent federal income tax refunds.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office announced the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ebunoluwa A. Taiwo is representing the United States in the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.