PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Eric Amaefuna, 65, of King of Prussia, PA, was charged by Indictment with 29 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns.
According to the Indictment, the defendant was the owner of American Financial Stewardship (AFS), a tax preparation business on Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. The Indictment alleges that 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 nation’s taxing system relies upon tax preparers to apply our tax laws honestly in order to help clients accurately report income and pay their fair share of federal taxes, not bend or ignore the rules to suit their client’s needs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “As alleged, the defendant manipulated his clients’ tax filings at the expense of honest taxpayers who take seriously their legal obligation to file complete and accurate federal income taxes each year. As we approach this year’s tax filing deadline, this is an important reminder.”
“Filing a tax return is one of the most significant financial transactions an average American taxpayer makes each year,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso. “Taxpayers should be particular in selecting a return preparer and have confidence knowing that person will prepare an accurate tax return. IRS Criminal Investigation wants to make sure taxpayers do not pay good money for bad advice.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 87 years in prison, and a $7,250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terri A. Marinari.