Three charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return | USAO-NDOH

Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a federal grand jury has returned charges against three individuals in the Northern District of Ohio with aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. These are separate cases and are not related.

“Particularly during this time of year, we want the public to know that violations of our nation’s tax laws will be investigated and, when appropriate, prosecuted,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan.  

“Whether it’s return preparers filing false tax returns for their clients or an individual intentionally underreporting his income, IRS CI remains committed to using our financial expertise to vigorously investigate criminal tax allegations,” said Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.                   

Santon BARNES, 49, of Euclid, Ohio, is charged with 23 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax return. For the tax years 2014 through 2016, BARNES is accused of preparing and submitting tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service that were false and fraudulent. BARNES is accused of deliberately reporting fictitious or inflated income, withholdings, dependents and misrepresenting Scheduled C income. 

This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. Collyer.

Harry GANT, 70, of Mentor, Ohio, is charged with four counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax return. According to the indictment, GANT is accused of intentionally underreporting the total income earned from the operation of his business for the tax years of 2014 through 2017 on his Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040 for himself and his spouse.

This investigation was conducted by the Cleveland Division of the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan R. Miller.

Michael HAYWOOD, age 29, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, is charged with 36 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax return. The indictment states that HAYWOOD  operated a tax preparation business out of his residence and prepared tax returns for individuals. It is alleged that for the tax years of 2014 through 2017, HAYWOOD prepared and submitted tax returns for clients to the Internal Revenue Service that reported inflated deductions, fictitious credits, losses, schedules, incorrect filing statuses and claimed a tax refund that was entirely fraudulent and inaccurate. 

This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Brian McDonough. 

 An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the Defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the Defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the Defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.

In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

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Author: Editor
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