Lake Station tax preparer to plead guilty in tax fraud case
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org May 15, 2014 5:40PM
Updated: June 17, 2014 2:43PM
A Lake Station tax preparer took at least $400,000, and possibly up to $1 million, by lying on his clients’ tax returns in order in to inflate their refunds and pocket the extra money, according to federal court papers filed Thursday.
Michael Nash is expected to plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and aggravated identity theft, according to a plea agreement filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.
In the agreement, Nash said that he paid someone identified as Individual A, who he knew was filing falsified tax returns, a commission for client referrals. Nash would then lie on these clients’ returns in such a way that it appeared the Internal Revenue Service owed them a larger refund than they were entitled.
He wouldn’t tell “many” of the clients about the increased refunds, however, and directed that the extra money be deposited into his own bank account.
On top of that, he then used information from these clients to file their tax returns for 2008 without their knowledge at all, pocketing all of the refunds in those cases.
Nash faces up to 10 years in prison on the conspiracy count and two years on the identity count that must be served consecutively to any other sentence.
A change of plea hearing had not been scheduled as of Thursday evening.