Tax preparer sentenced to federal prison for cheating IRS out of $2.6 million

 

Date: February 12, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

ATLANTA – Thomas Holmes has been sentenced to federal prison for preparing and filing hundreds of fraudulent federal tax returns for his clients. Holmes was the owner of TKO Tax Pros, a tax preparation business in Austell, Georgia.

"With the April 15 tax deadline looming, those who might consider preparing false tax returns should be aware of the extremely negative consequences as evidenced today," said Andrew M. Thornton, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office. "This sentencing of Thomas Holmes again emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Attorney's office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America's tax system."

"Holmes stole $2.6 million by claiming false deductions and credits on his clients' tax returns over a number of years," said U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak. "Tax preparers who cheat the IRS and skim off the top of their clients' tax refunds can look forward to spending tax seasons behind bars. As this tax season approaches, preparers should be warned that the government diligently finds and prosecutes this kind of fraudulent conduct."

According to the charges and other information presented in court: Holmes was identified by Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) as potentially filing fraudulent returns through his tax business, TKO Tax Pros. The investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2019, Holmes prepared and filed thousands of federal income tax returns, and on hundreds of the returns, he listed false information, including false Schedule C business losses and false Schedule A itemized deductions, causing taxpayers to claim millions of dollars in refunds that they were not entitled to. When the IRS issued those refunds, Holmes frequently kept a portion of the fraudulent refunds for himself and paid the balance to his clients. During the investigation, the IRS revoked Holmes' e-filing privileges, but Holmes continued to file fraudulent returns through the mail.

Thomas Holmes of Austell, Georgia, has been sentenced to three years, one month in prison, two years of supervised released, and he was ordered to pay $2,601,957 in restitution to the IRS. Holmes pleaded guilty to these charges on September 6, 2019.

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation investigated this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Annalise K. Peters prosecuted the case.