The U.S. Justice Department has announced the indictment and arrest of Ehrenfriede Kauapirura, a Brooklyn, New York dietician. She is charged with multiple counts of filing false tax returns, obstructing the Internal Revenue Service, and willful failure to file a tax return.
Charges Include Fraudulent Refund Claims, Obstruction, and Failure to File Tax Multiple Returns
According to a press release issued by the United States Department of Justice, in 2015 Kauapirura filed a false amended tax return on which she reported roughly hundreds of thousands of dollars in fictitious tax withholdings that she claimed entitled her to roughly a quarter million dollars in tax refunds. She successfully pursued the same strategy the following year on her official 2016 return.
Following the dispersal of approximately $500,000 in refunds, the IRS reviewed her claims and, upon determining that they were fraudulent, attempted to have her return the funds that she had wrongfully received. According to the Department of Justice, her initial response to their collections effort was to transfer the funds from her personal bank account into a trust over which she had control. She also wrote and submitted a check for $1 million to the agency in payment for her tax debt: the check later proved to have been written from an account from a non-existent bank.
Non-Payment of Taxes Added to Tax Refund Fraud Charges
In addition to her fraudulent tax refund scheme and her actions to evade justice, Kauapirura also failed to file any tax returns at all for tax years 2017 through 2020. According to TaxBuzz, the charges against her could easily add up to multiple years in jail, as the charge for failure to file a tax return is one year for each of the returns she did not file, plus an additional three years for the obstruction charge and three years for each of the false tax returns that she filed. No trial date has been set at this time. Multiple agencies are involved in the tax evasion case, which was revealed by acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, and Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins Sarah of IRS-Criminal Investigation.
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