LAS VEGAS -- An alleged co-owner of an Instant Tax Service franchise that operates at multiple locations in the Las Vegas area was ordered to stop preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department said Friday.
The order against Benyam Tewolde was signed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Miranda Du. Instant Tax Service is a nationally franchised tax preparation company based in Dayton, Ohio.
The judge also barred Tewolde's wife and alleged tax service co-owner Yordanos Kidanits and the franchisee, Koraggio LLC, from engaging in certain abusive practices. The defendants consented to the civil injunction orders without admitting the allegations against them.
According to the government complaint, the defendants helped their employees engage in a variety of misconduct, including: preparing phony tax-return forms with fabricated businesses and income; falsely claiming education credits; claiming false filing status; claiming false dependents; selling deceptive loan products; filing tax returns without customer consent or authorization; and preparing bogus W-2 forms, based on information from employee paystubs.
The complaint further alleged that Tewolde prepared fraudulent returns.
The injunction permanently bars Tewolde from preparing or filing federal tax returns for others, training tax preparers and owning or managing a tax preparation business.