The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced nine arrests
in a crackdown on unethical tax preparers, which uncovered fraud schemes involving inflated refunds, fake dependents, and excessive deductions. Those arrested include:
* Thomas Keeley, 59, of 358 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island, faces 49 felony counts for criminal tax fraud and offering a false instrument for filing. He allegedly prepared several thousand returns since 2011 with nearly half claiming unsubstantiated itemized deductions with unusually high job expenses. Keeley also failed to file his own income tax returns from 2008 through 2015. He pleaded guilty to similar crimes in 2008.
* Kevin Webb, 58, of 3027 Grace Avenue, Bronx, faces criminal tax fraud charges. He allegedly filed more than 20 suspicious tax returns containing unverified data. He also failed to file his own income tax returns from 2013, 2014, and 2015.
* Lorenzo Almanzar, 61, of 16 Stratford Road, White Plains, faces charges for criminal tax fraud and offering a false instrument for filing. He allegedly filed returns with inflated job expenses on clients’ returns without the clients’ knowledge.
* Chatise Thomas, 41, of 1561 Royce Street, Brooklyn, faces felony and misdemeanor counts of offering a false instrument for filing. She allegedly engaged in schemes aimed at providing her clients deductions that fraudulently lowered their tax liability. Clients who were interviewed denied giving her permission to claim inflated itemized deductions on their state income tax returns.
* Jefferson Sanchez, 33, of 210 Sherman Avenue, Apartment 12E, New York, and Wanda Ramirez, 23, of 210 Sherman Avenue, Apartment 8B, New York, NY both face felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and misdemeanor criminal tax fraud charges. They allegedly added false dependents to clients’ tax returns to inflate refunds.
* Carol Rati, 61, of 7303 18th Avenue, Brooklyn, faces felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing. She allegedly filed fraudulent tax returns for her clients claiming false deductions to either increase the refund amount or reduce their tax liability. Investigators interviewed more than a dozen of her clients who all said their returns contained false information that they never provided.
* Anibell Perez, 33, of 881 E 162nd Street, Apartment 7A, Bronx, faces felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and attempted grand larceny. She allegedly claimed false dependents, false wages, and/or false deductions to inflate refunds for clients through her tax preparation business, A & J Tax Professionals.
* Sorangel Carrasco, 34, of 3511 Dekalb Avenue, Apartment 3A, Bronx, faces felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and grand larceny. She allegedly claimed false dependents, false wages, and/or false deductions to inflate refunds for clients through her tax preparation business, Lenis Solutions.
The operation was part of an ongoing effort aimed at finding tax preparers filing fraudulent returns. 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.
“Everyone loses when a tax preparer commits tax fraud, including honest citizens and NYS communities deprived of revenue needed to fund vital services. We will continue to work with all our partners in law enforcement to ensure that unethical tax preparers are held accountable and face justice,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion.