Prepared False Tax Returns for Clients that She Filed Using Another Person’s Name
A D.C. tax return preparer was sentenced to 24 months in prison today following her guilty plea in February 2020 for 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, Renita Jenifer of District Heights, Maryland, operated a tax return preparation business in D.C. between 2013 and 2016 under the name RAJen Business Tax Service (RAJen). Through RAJen, Jenifer prepared false tax returns for clients claiming fraudulent and inflated itemized deductions, including charitable contributions and unreimbursed employee expenses. Jenifer also prepared returns that reported fraudulent and inflated business expenses. By including these false items, Jenifer’s clients received tax refunds from the IRS in excess of what they were entitled to receive.
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), expelling her from the IRS’s e-file program, Jenifer operated a new business in Maryland called DS Professional Tax Service LLC (DS Pro). Jenifer used the name of a different individual to obtain an EFIN for DS Pro, and she listed this individual’s name on tax returns she prepared instead of her own name. 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 tax returns for clients.
In addition to filing false tax returns for clients of RAJen and DS Pro, Jenifer filed false income tax returns for herself for the years 2013 and 2014, on which she failed to report all of the income generated by her business. Jenifer also did not file income tax returns for herself for the years 2017 and 2018, despite earning income from her operation of DSPro. Jenifer’s conduct caused a loss to the government of $373,090.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ordered Jenifer to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $357,819 in restitution to the IRS.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Melissa Siskind and William Guappone of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.