How to protect yourself against fraud in South Florida
The three people in a West Palm Beach tax preparation business that ran for at least four tax seasons were indicted in federal court Tuesday on tax fraud charges.
Glory Marketing and Financial Services owner owner Olry Maurival, 46, is a licensed insurance agent. Paula Pognon, 42, is a licensed real estate broker. Amos Regusme, a 57-year-old now living in Felton, Delaware, might be a licensed driver, but holds no professional license.
But handling taxes without being a certified public accountant isn’t the part of their tax preparation that prosecutors call fraudulent. There’s no law that says you have to be a CPA to prepare taxes. You just have to follow the Internal Revenue Service’s rules.
That’s what the indictment claims Maurival, Pognon and Regusme had a problem doing from 2012 through 2015. The indictment names tax returns on which one of the three would claim unearned employment expenses, fuel tax credits, earned income credits and other deductions and credits. This would inflate the client’s refund, the indictment says, creating a financial cover for the tax preparation fee part of the scam.
“The defendants and their conspirators collected tax preparation fees from their clients, in most cases by causing such fees to be deducted from their clients’ refunds,” the indictment said. “In most cases, the conspirators caused fees to be deducted from their clients’ refunds without their clients’ knowledge or without their clients’ knowledge of the size of the fees to be deducted.”
Maurival is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns and making and subscribing a false return. Pognon, a director with Best Enterprises & Associates, is charged with the first two charges. Regusme faces only the conspracy charge.