Tax Write Offs

Close-up Of A Businessperson's Hand Checking Invoice On Computer At Workplace

Anton Nguyen, owner of the tax preparation company called Century Tax & Travel was a crafty fraudster. All fraudsters are crafty, but Nguyen really thought outside of the box. Using stolen identities and infrequently used tax forms, Nguyen netted about $3,773,292 in his income tax scheme. But that wasn’t the real damage to the U.S. taxpayer. Nguyen received a 10% cut from the total amount that he was able to fraudulently file for his clients. That means the U.S. taxpayer was really robbed of $37,732,820 in this scheme.

Nguyen had a friend who was a County Social Services Agency case worker. From July 1994 to October 2018, That friend supplied Nguyen stolen Social Security numbers and other personal identifying information from the Social Services database. Nguyen would then prepare and file IRS Forms 1099-MISC. Forms 1099-MISC are used to report miscellaneous payments such as rent and medical and health care payments. The payments listed on the fraudulent Forms 1099 were reported as income to the identity theft victims.

While this fraudulent form appeared to the government as an income to an individual, it also appeared to be a tax credit for a payee of the income. And that’s where Nguyen’s clients stepped in. The fraudulent payments to the identity theft victims were used by Nguyen’s clients to offset business revenues and reduce the taxes they owed by making it appear that the identity theft victims worked for them. It eventually was discovered that Nguyen was a fraud. Nguyen pleaded guilty on April 10, 2023 to income tax fraud.

Great job by the Internal Revenue Service in this investigation.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Westminster-based tax preparer pleads guilty to $3.8 million tax fraud scheme” published by The Orange County Registar on April 10, 2023

A Westminster-based tax preparer pleaded guilty Monday to participating in schemes to defraud the federal government out of about $3.8 million.

Anton Nguyen, 54, of Fountain Valley, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

From 2012 to June 2019, Nguyen operated a tax preparation company called Century Tax & Travel. During that period, Nguyen and his co-conspirators filed hundreds of tax returns using personal identifying information belonging to other individuals without their permission to generate fraudulent tax refund payments from the federal government, totaling at least $418,559 in false claims, according to Nguyen’s plea agreement.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.