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Accountants Behaving Badly: Big 4 Scammer, Dude Got His Nads Cut Off, Refund Stealing

Plus, accountant sentenced to seven years in jail for fraud, and church-swindling accountant gets sentenced to three months in prison.

Accountant tricked girlfriend out of thousands in cancer scam [Accountancy Daily]
Badal Arun Hindocha, who cheated his Internet girlfriend out of £4,300 by claiming he was dying from stomach cancer, received a suspended jail sentence last week.

Hindocha, who was employed by a Canary Wharf firm [KPMG, according to his LinkedIn profile], pleaded guilty to fraud between December 2017 and March 2018, and was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was also given 280 hours of community service and was told to pay the woman, Tina Mistry, £6,000 in compensation.

Hindocha told Mistry he had lost income after missing work to attend hospital appointments due to his cancer diagnosis. Mistry made a number of bank transfers to Hindocha over a period of several months, but then realized she was being scammed when she saw he was active again on Internet dating sites.

Mistress, 27, who made married lover wear mask for sex game ‘surprise’ then hacked off his penis with shears is jailed for 13 years [The Sun]
Accountant Brenda Barattini, 28, was found guilty last week of the attempted murder of musician Sergio Fernandez, 42, following a trial in the Argentinian city of Cordoba.

Brenda Barattini

During her trial, the court heard how she hatched a plot to harm Fernandez after he shared sex tapes and X-rated pics of her with friends.

Claiming he treated her like a “trophy,” Barattini told a jury of four men and four women: “He turned me into a sex object. I was just a s**g for him.

After being arrested for the attack on Nov. 25, 2017, she was accused of using garden shears to cut off 90% of Fernandez’s junk, leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

[Note: The Sun has some NSFW images of the bloody scene and a bloody Fernandez, but his scrotal region is blurred out.]

Phoenix tax preparer sentenced to prison for stealing his clients’ tax refunds [Justice Department]
Phoenix accountant Erik Ketelaar was sentenced last week to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud.

Erik Ketelaar

In addition, Ketelaar, 35, was ordered to pay $573,000 in restitution to the IRS, third-party processors, and individual taxpayers.

In 2013 and 2014, Ketelaar owned and operated a tax preparation business called Tio Sams Taxes, with five offices in Phoenix and Mesa, AZ. He hired and trained Spanish-speaking staff, and marketed his tax services to nonresident and resident aliens living in Hispanic communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Ketelaar controlled how all tax returns were completed and had most of the client tax refunds directed to bank accounts or addresses he owned and managed. After he gained control of these tax refunds, he stole more than a half million dollars in refunds from many of his tax clients.

Accountant enters plea for false tax returns [Beloit Daily News]
David Zehnder, an accountant in Fort Atkinson, WI, pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 to four felony counts of filing fraudulent Wisconsin income tax returns and one felony count of theft.

David Zehnder

Zehnder, 55, knowingly filed at least 83 false Wisconsin income tax returns by overstating the itemized deduction credits on his clients’ returns by a total of $73,910.

He also stole, or attempted to steal, $32,312 of clients’ refunds by diverting a portion of the tax refunds into accounts he controlled.

Zehnder will be sentenced in November.

Lansing accountant sentenced to 7 years prison for fraud [The Ithaca Voice]
Andrew LaVigne, an accountant in Lansing, NY, was sentenced on Sept. 25 to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay $3.6 million in restitution after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

LaVigne, 66, practiced in Ithaca for more than three decades. In March, he admitted to using his CPA practice to conceal millions in assets and also defrauded a woman of more than $1 million in a mail fraud scheme.

LaVigne has been out on bail and has been ordered to report to serve his prison sentence Nov. 5.

Green Valley accountant indicted on federal tax charges [Arizona Daily Star]
William Stearnes, who operated Stearnes Tax & Accounting Team in Green Valley, AZ, was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 25 on 30 counts of preparation and presentation of false federal income tax returns.

William Stearnes

Stearnes, who advertised himself as an expert in federal law enforcement tax returns, filed returns that “claimed improper and/or inflated, unreimbursed employee expenses as a deduction against income,” according to the indictment.

Some of those improper expenses included meals and entertainment expenses, clothing, household items, personal cellphone charges, gym membership fees, vitamins, sunglasses, personal firearms, ammunition, and commuting miles.

Wakefield accountant sentenced to jail, probation for stealing from church [Sioux City Journal]
Michael Pommer, an accountant in Wakefield, NE, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 18 months probation on Sept. 23 for taking more than $109,000 from a church.

Michael Pommer

Pommer was given credit for one day already served in custody. He also was fined $5,000.

Pommer, 46, was accused of making 15 transfers totaling $109,727 from two accounts at Salem Lutheran Church to his personal bank account and American Express account. The transfers, ranging from $1,750 to $15,000, were made during a two-year period from June 24, 2016, through Sept. 5, 2018.