Jacksonville, Florida – A federal jury has found Paul Berkins Moise guilty of 14 counts of filing false returns on behalf of (unknowing) clients and 3 counts of filing false tax returns on behalf of himself. Moise faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison for each count. The United States will also seek restitution for the tax losses arising out of the fraud. Moise’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 9, 2021.
Moise had been indicted on February 6, 2019.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Moise owned and operated a tax preparation business in Jacksonville. Between February 2013 and March 2017, Moise defrauded the IRS by filing returns for his clients in which he grossly inflated deductions for state and local sales taxes, unreimbursed employee expenses, and gifts to charity by cash or check.
For example, on one tax return, Moise claimed a sales tax deduction of $5,883 for a client who had a gross income of $43,476. In order for that client to claim a sales tax deduction that large, the client would have had to have made taxable purchases totaling $89,926 (including the tax) — or more than twice the client’s claimed gross income.
Trial evidence also showed that Moise grossly underreported his own income on tax returns he filed for himself for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015. On his 2013 return, Moise reported $10,160 in income when he actually earned at least $83,848 that year. On his 2014 return, Moise reported $2,695 in income when he actually earned $252,652 that year. On his 2015 return, Moise reported $10,255 in income when he actually earned $234,936 that year.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.