Jacksonville tax preparer convicted of fraud

Ali Akhenaten faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison, plus financial restitution.

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A federal jury found Ali Akhenaten, formerly known as Darryl Oliver, guilty of five counts of tax fraud.

Akhenaten faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison for each count, according to an April 17 news release from the IRS.

His sentencing date has not been set.

The government also will seek restitution for the tax loss arising out of the fraud. 

Testimony and evidence presented at trial indicated Akhenaten owned and operated a tax preparation business in Jacksonville called Florida Financial Solutions.

On the 2014, 2015, and 2016 tax returns Akhenaten prepared for the business, he underreported its income and overstated the rent paid. On the tax returns he filed on his own behalf for 2014 and 2015, he underreported the income he earned from the business.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold Corsmeier.

The IRS also provided tips to avoid tax fraud:

• Choose a tax preparer wisely. Look for a preparer who is available year-round.

• Ask your tax preparer for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paid preparers are required to have one.

• Don’t use a ghost preparer. They won’t sign a tax return they prepare for you.

• Don’t fall victim to tax preparers’ promises of large refunds. Taxpayers must pay their fair share of taxes.

• Don’t sign a blank tax return. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for what appears on tax returns filed with the IRS.

• Make sure you receive your refund. Your refund should be deposited into your bank account, not your tax preparer’s.

• The IRS will not call you threatening legal action. Hang up if you receive such a call.

• Don’t respond to text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS. They may contain malware that could compromise your personal information.

• Don’t click links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages about your tax return. These messages are fraudulent.

• Protect your personal and financial information. Never provide this information in

response to unsolicited text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS.