Long Island, N.Y., Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to 37 Months for Tax Fraud

Howard Levine, owner of a Dix Hill, N.Y., tax preparation business was sentenced to 37 months in prison for tax crimes, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. On Jan. 5, 2012, Levine pleaded guilty to obstructing the internal revenue laws and aiding in the preparation of false income tax returns for clients. According to the plea agreement and statements made in court, Howard Levine owned and operated Milaur Associates, also known as Milaur Inc. Many of the tax returns prepared by Levine for 2004 through 2009 were false and contained fictitious deductions, business expenses and corporate losses created by Levine. According to court documents, Levine admitted to preparing no fewer than 56 false income tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of more than $620,000. In 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an injunction that barred Levine from preparing federal income tax returns for anyone other than himself. According to the plea agreement, Levine violated that court injunction and continued to prepare false income tax returns for clients. In order to obstruct and mislead the IRS from determining his role in preparing the returns, Levine provided false information in the paid preparer section of the returns he prepared. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bianco, sitting in Central Islip, N.Y., also ordered Levine to pay $320,998 in restitution to the IRS. The case was investigated by Special Agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Mark Kotila and Jeffrey B. Bender of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.