DOJ sues to close Longview tax preparation company for $53 million fraud case

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – The United States Justice Department filed a civil injunction suit to permanently bar JRC Elite Tax Solutions LLC in Longview and several people from preparing federal income tax returns for others.

The lawsuit was announced on May 31 and prohibits Jason Elias Briley; Roxann Ladawn Johnson; Alexander McKenzie; Courtney Jones; Derek Brooks; Deanna McKenzie; Erbia Lewis; Patrick McKenzie from providing these services, according to the Department of Justice.

The complaint is also asking the court to require those involved to disgorge, or give back the fees they received from preparing fraudulent tax returns, said the DOJ.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Officials said the tax return preparers allegedly completed more than 1,300 returns in 2021and more than 3,100 returns in 2022.

The tax preparers prepared the documents that falsely claimed more than $53 million in credits and refunds that were supposed to provide COVID-19 relief for those who are self-employed, said the DOJ.

David A. Hubbert, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced the lawsuit.

The IRS said people need to be careful with tax preparation scams. Officials have a free directory that people can use to find tax preparers. For information on how to not fall prey to “ghost” tax preparers, click here. Authorities said one red flag is if a tax preparer does not want to sign a return.

In addition, IRS Free File, a public-private partnership, offers free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner websites for individuals whose adjusted gross income is under $73,000. For individuals whose income is over that threshold, IRS Free File offers electronical federal tax forms that can be filled out and filed online for free. The IRS has tips on how seniors and individuals with low to moderate income can get other help or guidance on tax return preparation, too.

The DOJ has obtained injunctions against several tax preparers. People can learn more about these cases online. There is also an alphabetical list of places and people who have been banned from preparing tax returns, which you can find by clicking here.

If someone believes that a tax preparer or business is practicing and they should not be, people should contact the tax division, here.