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January 24, 2023

Tax Preparer Sentenced for Attempted Interference with the Administration of Internal Revenue Laws and Bank Fraud

On November 8, 2022, in the Western District of Michigan, Steven Ernest Neuman was sentenced for providing false statements in association with Internal Revenue laws, attempted interference with the administration of Internal Revenue laws, and bank fraud. 

According to the court documents, in 2017, Neuman filed a 2016 tax return for two taxpayers and falsely claimed tuition and fee deductions, when there were no associated expenses. Neuman also fabricated a deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses and claimed more in property taxes than the taxpayers paid. Neuman made these fraudulent entries without the taxpayers’ knowledge by filing the returns before providing them a copy for their review. He engaged in similar tax fraud for a total of 27 taxpayers.  Between years 2012 and 2015, Neuman’s false returns resulted in a tax loss of $436,004. 

Also, Neuman told the taxpayers he would resolve the audit of their taxes by negotiating an offer in compromise with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Upon failing to receive such an offer, the IRS sent letters demanding payment. To convince taxpayers of his communication with the IRS, Neuman fabricated a letter from the IRS that claimed the taxpayers had no outstanding tax debt. Neuman further devised a scheme to obtain money from financial institutions by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises. 

Neuman was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $837,671.00 in restitution.

Source:  The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: W.D. Mich., Information, filed Apr. 20, 2022; and W.D. Mich., Judgment, filed Nov. 8, 2022.