My chronicle of how the IRS and Tax Court affect taxpayers' daily lives.

See below for important disclosures.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ex-IRS Criminal Investigations employee turned Tax Preparer convicted!

John J. Poltonowicz was convicted on one count of consipiracy to defraud the United States, 12 counts of aiding, assisting, and counseling the filing of false tax returns, four counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, five counts of making fals statements on loan applications, and two counts of making false statements to the IRS. 

John started his career as an analyst for the CI division.  in 1992 he left the IRS and began preparing tax returns for other people.  In 2003, the IRS suspected fraud and sent undercover agents with recording devices.  John was recorded telling the undercover agent that he would include business expenses and other deductions for which no substantiation was shown in the agents return, even though the agent insisted she did not have a business.  As a part of the investigation, the agent then received an "audit notice" and brought it into John, to which he admitted to causing the problem, and was simply playing the odds that an audit would not occur.  John pleaded guilty to one count of filing false tax returns and his e-file authorization was revoked.

Soon after, he opened a new tax office in the name of his roomate and housekeeper.  He filed e-file paperwork listing her as the responsible party, and began preparing taxes once again.  At trial, several employees testified that they observed John preparing false returns and that they were instructed to claim nonexistent deductions. 

His fraud was not limited to preparing taxes for others, as he prepared false returns for his own use, overstating his income, and using them to procure loans for his home and an auto lease. 

The jury convicted him of all charges.  He was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, $2,700 special assessment, and $400,000 in restitution. 

Aaron's Take:  Know who your practitioner is.  If he mentions things that you aren't comfortable with, than GET OUT or GET A SECOND OPINION.  You would do nothing less for your medical health.  Your financial health is no different!

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Aaron Blau, E.A. is the Vice President of the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents and a member of the Government Relations Committee of the National Association of Enrolled Agents. The opinions and ideas expressed here are in no way representative of the official position of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents or the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents.

For official comments, please e-mail NAEA Director of Communications at or Arizona Society president

"To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that, to the extent this communication (or any attachment) addresses any tax matter, it was not written to be (and may not be) relied upon to (i) avoid tax-related penalties imposed under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (or in any such attachment). In addition, nothing herein is intended to convey an expression of an opinion as to the likelihood a tax position would ultimately prevail if challenged by the IRS. This communication is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed; no one else should rely on the tax advice provided herein. The person to whom this advice is addressed is under no obligation to keep the advice or matters related to the advice confidential."