Three Birmingham tax preparers shut down for fraud

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A federal court has permanently barred three Birmingham tax preparers from preparing federal tax returns for others, announced the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday.

The court found that John Lewis, Artels James and Perry Wright, working together under the business name "Tax World" in Birmingham, "regularly and repeatedly prepared federal tax returns using at least one of three schemes to generate erroneously large tax refunds for their customers," according to the release.

In two of the schemes, the men prepared tax returns with false or overstated claims for the earned income tax credit. In a third scheme, they made up business deductions which falsely lowered their customers' tax liabilities. When preparing their own taxes for "Tax World," the men also failed to identify themselves properly, the court discovered.

The federal court has ordered Lewis, James and Wright to give a copy of the civil injunction order, which was entered by U.S. Judge Virginia Hopkins, to each of their customers since January 1, 2008. They are also required to provide a full list of their customers to the government. Failure to do so could be punished by criminal contempt.

To find more information about this case or to see other cases of tax fraud that have been stopped, visit http://www.justice.gov/tax/taxpress2011.htm.

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