Tucson tax preparer sentenced to prison for fraud

Tucson tax preparer sentenced to prison for fraud
pic of bars (Source: KAIT-TV)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - 59-year-old Joseph Michael Vosberg was sentenced to 18 months in prison on July 29, 2019 for assisting in the preparation and filing of false federal income tax returns.

Vosberg previously pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false tax return on December 6, 2018.

Vosberg owned and operated Vosberg and Associates, a sole proprietorship in Tucson, Arizona. He prepared and filed federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for his clients. Beginning in or before 2012, Vosberg willfully and knowingly prepared and filed false federal income tax returns with the IRS by using fictitious business losses and creating or inflating charitable contribution expenses on his clients' federal income tax returns. He would suggest the creation of fictitious businesses to his clients to claim the fictitious business losses. These fictitious businesses included photography or selling software known as “Worth Unlimited.”

Vosberg included false and fictitious cash and non-cash charitable contributions as itemized deductions on his clients' Schedule A of their Form 1040 federal income tax return. He collected expense receipts from clients and offered or used those receipts on other clients' tax returns to support the false charitable contributions and business losses that Vosberg knew to be false. The false tax returns, which overstated charitable contributions and/or included false schedule C deductions from fictitious businesses, were filed to increase his client’s federal income tax refund amounts or to reduce their tax liability.

Vosberg admitted that the total amount in false claims and expenses filed on his client’s federal income tax returns for tax years 2012 through 2015 was approximately $457,187 which resulted in a total tax loss to the United States in the amount of approximately $202,243 As part of his guilty plea, Vosberg agreed to be permanently enjoined from preparing federal tax returns for others or maintaining any association with a tax return preparation business.

The court ordered Vosberg to pay $202,243 in restitution to the United States Treasury for the tax loss relating to the offense as part of his sentence.

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