Local tax prep firm barred from doing business for fraudulent returns

Keywords Government / Law / Legal Issues / Taxes

A federal judge has barred an Indianapolis tax preparer from doing business, saying that both the firm and its owner filed hundreds of fraudulent returns that cheated the government out of more than $1 million in tax revenue.

The injunction, issued Jan. 4 and disclosed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday, bars Antonio Chappell and his company, G&A Tax Service LLC, from filing or preparing federal tax returns for others, or from owning, managing or doing paid or unpaid work for any other tax-return preparer.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a legal complaint against Chappell and G&A in March 2018 that sought to shut down G&A, but the defendants never responded to this action, court documents say.

“Chappell and G&A Continue to prepare returns despite knowing they are being investigated by the [Internal Revenue Service], and an injunction is the only way to prevent them from preparing future returns,” says the order signed by U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young of the Southern District of Indiana.

No one answered the phone Wednesday morning at G&A’s ofice at 4857 Oakbrook Drive, and IBJ was unable to reach Chappell on his personal phone.

According to Young's filing, the Internal Revenue Service first started investigating Chappell in 2011, when he was working for a previous employer. Chappell went on to form G&A in 2013 with George Mosley, who is now deceased.

The IRS analyzed 455 returns prepared by Chappell and Mosley between 2011 and 2015 and found irregularities in 369 of these documents, the filing says. 

Chappell and G&A “manipulated their customers filing statuses, wage income, business income and expenses, and dependents’ statuses—all to secure lower tax liability for their customers,” Young's order says. Chappell and G&A also misrepresented certain information in order to secure tax credits for their customers, the filing says.

G&A, which charged its customers fees of up to $700 per return, prepared nearly 3,000 federal income tax returns between 2014 and 2017 and an additional 300 returns in the first two months of 2018, the filing says. 

In addition to barring Chappell and G&A from preparing future returns, the court is also ordering Chappell to send prosecutors names and information on all of G&A’s customers since 2013; to contact these customers to notify them of the injunction; and to post a copy of the injunction at G&A’s offices.

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