Gloversville accounting firm accused of faking tax returns

Saturday, July 7, 2012
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— Three people connected to a Gloversville accounting firm have been indicted in federal court for allegedly conspiring to submit false tax returns on behalf of clients, according to papers filed in court.

Indicted are: Carmen R. Gentile, Jr., listed as the owner of Complete Financial Accounting Services, located at 17 Industrial Parkway; Angela J. Witzke, an employee; and Michele L. Lennon, also an employee. Ages and addresses were unavailable.

The three are accused of conspiring to submit the false returns between March 7, 2006, and at least April 30, 2008, according to the indictment.

The three “would and did regularly cause their clients to file U.S. Individual Income Tax returns that were false and fraudulent,” the indictment reads.

They are accused of claiming certain itemized deductions or expenses that were fictitious or fraudulently inflated, according to the indictment.

The indictment cites false charitable contributions, job-related income, expenses, losses and other deductions.

“The falsification of deductions and expenses on their clients’ tax returns had the effect of reducing their clients’ taxable income, resulting in IRS refunds being issued to said clients,” the indictment reads.

The three also made the practice routine, according to the indictment.

The indictment cites 14 separate “overt acts” of the conspiracy, amounting to specific false claims on tax returns of clients. The individual clients’ are identified in the indictment only through their initials.

Witzke and Lennon are each accused of one overt act each, while Gentile is accused of the remaining 12, according to the indictment.

In addition, Gentile faces 10 other counts in the indictment, charged in each count with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false returns.

In one individual’s return filed in 2006, Gentile is accused of claiming non-existent job expenses totalling nearly $21,000, plus $4,000 in non-existent charitable contributions.

In another, Gentile is accused of falsely claiming more than $11,000 in charitable contributions in a joint return filed in 2008, according to the indictment.

The indictment was filed June 27 in U.S. District Court in Albany. Whether the three defendants have been jailed or even arrested yet is unclear. No attorneys are listed for any of the defendants, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Hanlon, who is prosecuting the case, could not be reached this week.

Also unclear from the indictment is whether the clients whose tax returns were allegedly falsified knew what was happening or are facing any legal action.

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