FEDERAL COURT: A West Palm Beach Tax Preparer Ordered To Return Fees
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Boca Post (BocaPost.com) — A federal court has ordered Nate E. Dameus of West Palm Beach to return over $200,000 in fees he charged customers for tax services he performed.
A federal court in the Southern District of Florida has ordered a return preparer operating in the West Palm Beach area to pay $213,500 in fees he received for preparing tax returns in violation of a permanent injunction that barred him from filing, preparing, or helping to prepare federal tax returns for others.
The United States sued Nate E. Dameus, doing business as Mobile Tax Express Services, in May 2021. The Government’s complaint alleged that Dameus prepared returns for customers that fraudulently understated the tax those customers owed and/or overstated the refund to which they were entitled. The complaint alleged, for example, that Dameus prepared returns with fabricated tax withholdings and bogus claims for unreimbursed employee business expenses like car mileage, tools, cell phone services, and meals. In addition, the complaint alleged that Dameus routinely falsified home improvement expenses on his customers’ returns to claim residential energy credits his customers were not entitled to receive. With Dameus’ consent, the court issued an injunction in September 2021 that permanently barred him from preparing tax returns for others.
The United States filed a motion on July 26, 2022, asking the court to hold Dameus in contempt for violating that injunction. According to the motion, Dameus used the Preparer Tax Identification Number assigned to his cousin, Fedson Dameus, to covertly prepare at least 305 tax returns for customers in 2022 in violation of the injunction. The motion also alleged that at least some of those returns reported fictitious business and “other income” losses, and false employer credits for paid family and medical leave.
Before the scheduled hearing on the motion, Dameus stipulated that the United States could prove that those facts by clear and convincing evidence consented to an order finding him in contempt for continuing to prepare returns in violation of the injunction and agreed to pay $213,500. The court entered the order holding Dameus in contempt on Sept. 29, 2022. In addition to ordering Dameus to surrender ill-gotten fees, the court ordered him to reimburse the government for the costs incurred to investigate his violations and enforce the injunction.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.