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Accountants Behaving Badly: Retirement Fund Theft, Defrauding Nursing Home, Fraudster Going to Jail

Plus, two tax preparers, who as it turned out weren’t registered tax preparers, are sentenced for filing false tax returns.

Plymouth accountant charged with stealing from county retirement board [Wicked Local]
Paul Hurley, the former accountant of the Plymouth County Retirement Association, is accused of stealing money from the fund.

He was arrested on Nov. 29 on warrants charging him with larceny of more than $1,200 by single scheme and seven counts of uttering a false check.

The charges stem from allegations that Hurley, 57, reprinted already issued retirement checks for seven county retirees and signed and deposited them in his own account. Between August 2018 and last July, Hurley is accused of stealing $16,367.34 via the check scheme.

Accountant admits £1m Belfast care home fraud [Belfast Telegraph]
Michael Kinder pleaded guilty on Nov. 29 to defrauding a south Belfast care home out of more than £1 million.

Michael Kinder

The accountant is accused of defrauding Nazareth House Care Village in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by transferring £1,036,055 out of its bank account into two accounts he held with First Trust Bank and Santander on dates between April 2011 and October 2017.

Kinder, 52, also pleaded guilty to a charge that between August and September 2017 he “destroyed, defaced, concealed, or falsified” bank statements in the name of Nazareth House Care Village.

Missouri CPA convicted in $7 million fraud scheme [Associated Press]
Douglas Richardson, CPA, who was an executive for Smart Prong Technologies, was found guilty on Nov. 7 in a Missouri federal court of six counts of wire fraud and four counts of money laundering for initiating a $7 million scheme to defraud his employer and clients of the CPA firm he owned.

Prosecutors say Richardson, 46, transferred at least $4.4 million from Smart Prong accounts into his personal and business bank accounts.

He also induced several clients to provide loans or make investments by claiming the money would be used for one purpose, when some of the money was instead used for Richardson’s benefit or to pay other people.

Spartanburg woman accused of preparing false tax returns [WSPA-TV]
Annmedra Brown was arrested on Nov. 27 and charged with eight counts of willfully assisting in the preparation of a false return.

Annmedra Brown

Brown, 41, of Spartanburg, SC, allegedly reported “false deductions and losses of more than $304,000” in eight tax returns for four clients between 2015 and 2017, authorities said.

She faces up to 40 years in prison and $80,000 in fines if convicted of all charges.

Prince George’s County man sentenced for filing fraudulent tax returns [Maryland Attorney General’s Office]
DiAnte Eugene Yawn pleaded guilty on Nov. 22 to one count of theft scheme greater than $100,000 for filing fraudulent tax returns.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, suspending all but six months, three years supervised probation upon release, and is prohibited from acting as a tax preparer while on probation. A lien will also be placed on his Social Security number to collect restitution.

From 2014 to 2016, Yawn, 41, who wasn’t a registered tax preparer in Maryland, prepared and filed state income tax returns, for a fee, on behalf of numerous Maryland residents. Many of the Maryland tax returns Yawn filed on behalf of his clients included false information, which reduced their Maryland tax liabilities and improperly increased their state tax refunds collectively by approximately $100,000.

The returns contained false entries concerning business income and loss, dental and medical expenses, unreimbursed medical expenses, educational expenses, false reported tax preparation fees, and a false W-2.

Anchorage man pleads guilty to false federal tax preparation for Spanish-speaking community members [KTVF-TV]
Jose Luis Arenas pled guilty in early November to five counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal individual income tax returns with a clientele primarily of Spanish-speaking members of the Anchorage community, charging them $100 to $600 per return.

Arenas, 65, had tax preparation training through H&R Block, but since 2012 has never been a registered tax preparer in Anchorage. Between tax years 2013 and 2016, he consistently failed to indicate that he had filed them as a paid, professional preparer. Instead, the returns appeared to be filed individually by the taxpayers. Arenas would obtain undue tax refunds for his clients by inflating certain Schedule A deductions, particularly medical expenses and charitable giving. Oftentimes, Arenas would fabricate medical expenses, unbeknownst to his clients.

Arenas faces a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, three years of supervised release, five years of probation, and restitution.