A 61-year-old Westchester man was among nine people arrested following an undercover crackdown on tax preparers filing fraudulent returns.
Lorenzo Almanzar of Stratford Road in White Plains, faces charges of criminal tax fraud and offering a false instrument for filing, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said. He allegedly filed returns with inflated job expenses on clients’ returns without the clients’ knowledge.
“We will not allow unscrupulous individuals to line their own pockets at the expense of honest taxpayers," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "Those who cheat the tax system are stealing from their fellow New Yorkers, and I am pleased to work with my partners in law enforcement as we continue to root out tax fraud.”
Also facing charges are:
- Sorangel Carrasco, 33, of the Bronx
- Thomas Keely, 59, of Staten Island
- Anibell Perez, 33, of the Bronx
- Carol Rati, 61, of Brooklyn
- Wanda Ramirez, 23, of Manhattan
- Jefferson Sanchez, 33, of Manhattan
- Chatise Thomas, 41, of Brooklyn
- Kevin Webb, 58, of the Bronx
In addition to the arrests, Tax Department investigators also executed five search warrants within the last week across New York City. They seized business records, computers, and other electronic devices.
The Tax Department partnered with the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, and Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon.
“Tax preparers have a responsibility to conduct themselves honestly and act in the best interests of their clients," Vance said. "Those who engage in theft and fraud steal from not only their clients, but from their communities as well. I will continue to work with my partners in law enforcement and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to ensure that tax professionals who commit fraud of this nature are held accountable.”
If you're aware of a tax preparer who has engaged in illegal or improper conduct, you can file a tax preparer complaint online by clicking here or contact the NYS Tax Department at 518-530-HELP (option #2). The information is kept confidential. The Tax Department takes this type of illegal activity seriously, promptly reviews each complaint, and takes corrective action when appropriate.
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