James Moses Asare, also known as “Moses,” was the sole owner of Victory Enterprise. Asare pleaded guilty Monday in Manhattan Federal Court to seven counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
According to court records, Asare used several schemes to produce fraudulent tax returns. When preparing 1040 tax forms for clients, Asare did not use expense and deduction information provided by the clients, but instead inflated the clients’ personal expenses and deductions, or created fictitious expenses and deductions, in order to lower the clients’ tax liabilities and increase the refunds the clients would receive from the IRS.
These inflated and fictitious personal expenses and deductions related to, among other items, gifts to charity and unreimbursed employee expenses. Asare filed at least 1,500 tax returns from his business, of which approximately 95 percent resulted in refunds, generating at least $4 million in refunds from the IRS.
Asare also was accused of inflating his clients’ business expenses and created fictitious businesses and corresponding expenses. These inflated and fictitious business expenses, which included transportation, tools and equipment, rentals, work clothing and laundry, repair and maintenance, automobile expenses, were listed on Schedules C attached to his clients’ 1040 forms. Asare also falsely claimed dependents on his clients’ returns when in fact the clients had no such dependents. Based on those dependents, falsely claimed head of household status on his clients’ tax returns, or falsely claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit to which the clients were not entitled.
Asare faces up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000 for each count. “Investigations of dishonest tax preparation is one of our agency’s highest priorities,” said Joseph Foy, a spokesperson for the New York Field Office of the IRS Criminal Investigation division. “With the new registration requirements for tax preparers, it will be tougher for potential criminals to evade the law. However, we still encourage honest, hard-working tax preparers who uphold the highest standards of the law to help us identify and root out dishonest tax preparers. Working together, we can foster more confidence in our tax system.”