Owner of DC-Area Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty to Fraud | OPA
A tax return preparer pleaded guilty today to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2013 and 2016, Renita Jenifer, 52, of District Heights, Maryland, operated RAJen Business Tax Service (RAJen), a return preparation business in D.C. During those years, Jenifer prepared false tax returns for clients that included fraudulent and inflated business expenses and itemized deductions, such as charitable contributions and unreimbursed employee expenses. By including these false items, Jenifer’s secured refunds for her clients from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to which they were not entitled.
In 2016, after IRS-Criminal Investigation executed a search warrant at RAJen’s office in D.C. and revoked Jenifer’s Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN), Jenifer formed DS Professional Tax Service LLC (DS Pro), a new tax preparation business in Maryland. As she had done at RAJen, Jenifer prepared false tax returns for clients of DS Pro. In 2018, Jenifer moved this new business to D.C. and continued to prepare false returns for clients. To conceal her fraud, Jenifer used the name of anothert individual to obtain an EFIN for DS Pro, and she listed that individual’s name on tax returns she prepared, instead of her own.
In 2013 and 2014, Jenifer also filed her false tax returns for herself, omitting income from her business. In 2017 and 2018, Jenifer did not file personal tax returns at all, despite earning income from DSPro. In total, Jenifer caused a tax loss to the United States of $373,090.
U.S. District Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson set sentencing for May 12, 2020. Jenifer faces a prison term of up to three years, as well as monetary penalties. As part of her plea agreement, Jenifer has agreed to pay $357,819 in restitution to the United States.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked agents of IRS- Criminal Investigation and the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, who investigated this case, and Trial Attorneys Melissa Siskind and William Guappone of the Tax Division, who prosecuted this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.