Florida Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Criminal Contempt
A Florida man pleaded guilty today to criminal contempt for continuing to prepare and file tax returns with the IRS in violation of a federal court order barring him from doing so.
According to court documents, Guy Telfort, of Fort Lauderdale, previously owned and operated Tax Houses and Accounting Services, a Lauderdale Lakes tax preparation business. From approximately January 2015 through April 2019, Telfort and other employees of Tax Houses and Accounting Services prepared and filed tax returns for clients. To generate inflated IRS refunds for clients, some of these tax returns reported false items, including fictitious business income and losses and mileage deductions. On April 24, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an injunction against Telfort in a civil proceeding, permanently barring Telfort from preparing federal tax returns for others.
Despite this court-ordered injunction, in 2020 and 2021, Telfort continued to prepare and file tax returns out of an Oakland Park pawn shop. He charged clients as much as $1,000 for each return filed with the IRS. Some of the tax returns reported false medical and dental expenses and charitable contributions, as well as fictitious businesses. To disguise his role in preparing these returns, Telfort used Preparer Tax Identification Numbers belonging to other tax preparers. Over the two-year period, Telfort helped prepare nearly 1,200 tax returns for clients in willful violation of the permanent injunction.
Telfort is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16 and potentially faces a period of incarceration, term of supervised release, and monetary fine. A district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida made the announcement.
Trial Attorneys Ashley Stein and Casey Smith of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.