$6M In False Tax Returns Submitted To IRS By Tampa Man: IRS

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TAMPA, FL — The owner of a Tampa tax preparation and consulting service has pleaded guilty to preparing and filing false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced Tuesday that Eurich Z. Griffin III pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by promoting a tax fraud scheme and helping others prepare and file false tax returns with the IRS. Griffin faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, between 2013 and 2018, Griffin offered tax preparation and consulting services to clients for a fee and recruited clients by convincing them that their mortgage debt payments entitled them to tax refunds. He helped to prepare and present false tax returns on their behalf. These tax returns falsely claimed that banks and other financial institutions had withheld large amounts of income tax from the clients, thereby entitling them to refunds.

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In reality, the financial institutions had not paid any income to or withheld any taxes from these tax payers. To make the refund claims appear legitimate, Griffin and the conspirators filed tax documents with the IRS that matched the withholding information listed on the tax returns.

These tax returns collectively sought $5,231,749.15 from the IRS. As part of the conspiracy, Griffin also independently submitted six fictitious returns totaling $1,354,809.21 to the IRS.

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This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations.

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