PHILADELPHIA, PA — United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Eric Amaefuna, 65, of King of Prussia, PA, pleaded guilty Thursday to engaging in a multi-year scheme to assist clients with filing false income tax returns in order to fraudulently increase the amount of the refund they received.
In April 2021, the defendant was charged by Indictment with 29 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns. At the time of the charged conduct, Amaefuna was the owner of American Financial Stewardship (AFS), a tax preparation business on Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. According to the Indictment, Amaefuna prepared false and fraudulent IRS Personal Income Tax 1040 Forms for client taxpayers for at least tax years 2014 through 2016. The defendant added attachments to the 1040 Forms that were also false, in that they claimed false or inflated employee business expenses, inflated state and local taxes, false or inflated miscellaneous deductions, and losses that were entirely fictitious or falsely inflated. These falsities resulted in the filing of personal income tax returns claiming refunds due to the client taxpayers which they were not entitled to receive.
“Our system of taxation relies upon taxpayers contributing their fair share to the federal government, and preparers are supposed to help them do that by accurately reporting income and expenses,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “The defendant manipulated his clients’ tax filings to suit their own needs at the expense of honest taxpayers. This case is an important reminder to take seriously the legal obligation to file complete and accurate federal income tax returns as we start the 2022 tax season.”
“As we approach the start of the tax filing season, it is important that taxpayers are very diligent when it comes to filing an accurate tax return,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent In Charge Yury Kruty. “For those who choose to use a tax return preparer, filing an accurate tax return starts with staying clear of unscrupulous tax return preparers. Remember, YOU as the taxpayer, are ultimately responsible for filing a timely, complete, and accurate tax return.”
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terri A. Marinari.
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