In a recent case of tax fraud, a tax return preparer in Key West, Florida, named Abel Raphael, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. Raphael, who ran Abel Income Tax Service Inc., admitted to preparing and filing false tax returns under the names of others. He used false deduction and tax credit figures to manipulate the returns and filed them electronically with the IRS. As part of his sentence, Raphael has been ordered to pay nearly $150,000 in restitution. U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe, along with the IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI, announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.
Key West Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Tax Fraud
In recent news, Abel Raphael, a tax return preparer based in Key West, Florida, has been sentenced to federal prison for committing tax fraud. This case serves as a reminder of the serious consequences that individuals face for engaging in fraudulent tax practices. The following article will provide a comprehensive overview of the case, including the charges brought against Abel Raphael, his role as a professional tax return preparer, the investigation and prosecution process, details of the sentencing and restitution, and the official announcement of the sentence.
Summary of the Case
Abel Raphael, aged 65, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay almost $150,000 in restitution for aiding and assisting the preparation and presentation of false tax returns. Raphael, who operated Abel Income Tax Service Inc. in Monroe County, was charged with using false deduction and tax credit figures on tax returns and electronically filing them with the IRS. These fraudulent actions violated federal tax laws and warranted legal action against Raphael.
Role of Abel Raphael
Abel Raphael, as a professional tax return preparer, played a crucial role in the perpetration of tax fraud. Raphael’s business, Abel Income Tax Service Inc., served as a platform for him to engage in illegal practices by preparing false tax returns for his clients. By manipulating deduction and tax credit figures on these returns, Raphael intentionally misrepresented the financial information of his clients, resulting in fraudulent filings. This abuse of trust and professional responsibility is taken very seriously and carries severe penalties under federal law.
Operation of Abel Income Tax Service Inc.
Abel Income Tax Service Inc., owned and operated by Abel Raphael, provided tax return preparation services to clients in the Key West area. This business allowed Raphael to interact directly with individuals seeking assistance with their tax filings. Raphael utilized his knowledge and expertise in tax preparation to exploit the system for personal gain. His involvement in tax fraud through the operation of his business highlights the importance of selecting a trustworthy and ethical tax return preparer.
False Tax Returns and EFIN Usage
Abel Raphael admitted to obtaining an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) to electronically submit tax returns to the IRS in the names of his clients. By doing so, Raphael bypassed the traditional paper filing process, which allowed for faster processing and the potential to go undetected by the IRS. However, during the investigation, it was revealed that Raphael utilized false deduction and tax credit figures on these electronic filings. This deliberate manipulation of financial information on tax returns constituted tax fraud and violated federal tax laws.
Investigation and Prosecution
The investigation and subsequent prosecution of Abel Raphael involved multiple agencies dedicated to combating financial crimes. U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe was responsible for overseeing the legal proceedings against Raphael. The IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and the FBI played integral roles in conducting a thorough investigation into Raphael’s fraudulent activities. These agencies utilized their expertise and resources to gather evidence, analyze financial records, and build a case against Raphael. The case details and related court documents provide a comprehensive account of the charges brought against Raphael and the evidence presented in court.
Sentencing and Restitution
Abel Raphael has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his involvement in tax fraud. Following his release, he will be placed on one year of supervised release, during which his activities and compliance will be closely monitored. In addition to his prison sentence and supervised release, Raphael has been ordered to pay restitution. The total amount of restitution has been set at nearly $150,000, representing the financial harm caused by Raphael’s fraudulent tax practices.
Announcement of the Sentence
The announcement of Abel Raphael’s sentence was made by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, who presided over the case. The sentence reflects the severity of the crimes committed by Raphael and serves as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to engage in similar fraudulent activities. U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe, along with representatives from the IRS-CI Miami and the FBI Miami, announced the outcome of the case, emphasizing the commitment of these agencies to protect the integrity of the tax system and hold individuals accountable for their actions.
For further information or inquiries regarding this case or other matters related to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida, please contact the Public Affairs Unit:
- Email: USAFLS.News@usdoj.gov
The Public Affairs Unit is available to provide additional details, answer questions, or address any concerns from the media or the public. Their expertise and knowledge can contribute to a better understanding of the case and its implications for the community.