IRS: Tax Preparer Stole Customer Info, Pocketed Refunds

Dallas preparer denies allegations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A Dallas tax preparer stole the identities of hundreds of customers, filed fraudulent tax returns in their names, and pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds, the IRS claims.

    Leonard Chisango, owner of Rapid Tax Services in the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, also failed to file his own personal and business taxes since 2002, the IRS said.

    Chisango, in a short telephone interview Tuesday, denied the allegations. "I'm surprised they'd say that," he said. "It's not true." He declined to answer questions.

    The government investigation of Chisango is detailed in a complaint seeking to keep $97,794 it seized from two bank accounts earlier this year. Chisango has not been charged with a crime.

    The IRS raided Rapid Tax Services in April, according to the complaint. During the search, Chisango's office manager told IRS agents he gave her a list of 50 former clients last summer and instructed her to put their names and addresses into a computer tax program, the document said.

    "When the office manager asked Chisango what expense amount should be noted on the returns, Chisango told her to make up an amount," agents said.

    Also during the search, agents reported finding 83 tax forms with false information which resulted in $390,571 in refunds.

    In 2010 and 2011, the IRS said Chisango filed more than 100 fake returns which resulted in refunds of nearly $500,000.

    It’s not clear what Chisango may have done with the money, but the IRS noted he travels frequently to Africa, Thailand, China and Puerto Rico and was building a "village" in Africa with seven "multi-bedroom homes."

    In the search of Chisango’s office, agents said they found numerous identification cards in his desk.

    "These documents did not have Chisango's name or picture on them, and it is unclear why he had a stack of these documents in his desk drawer," the complaint said.

    Agents also said they found three different Zimbabwe passports in his car, "but only two had Chisango's name on them."

    The IRS said Chisango admitted to investigators that he had not filed tax returns for Rapid or other businesses he owns "because they were not profitable."

    "Chisango acknowledged that he knew of the filing requirement but simply did not file," the complaint said.

    Chisango also did not file personal returns, the IRS said.

    "He said that he wanted to fix his mistakes but claimed that he did not know how to prepare his own returns," an agent wrote in the complaint.