Feds: Shelton tax preparer admits preparing and filing false tax returns

A Shelton tax preparer has admitted in federal court that he filed false tax returns on behalf of clients without the clients’ knowledge. His actions led to tax underpayments to the U.S. government of more than $240,000 over a five-year period, according to prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut.

Bellarmin Namegabe, 46, of Shelton waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty on Dec. 4 to one count of aiding and assisting the filing of a false tax return, which carries a maximum jail term of three years. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

False expenses, deductions, credits

According to court documents and statements made in court, Namegabe, while operating a tax preparation business based in Shelton, falsely reported expenses, deductions and credits on numerous clients’ tax returns without his clients’ knowledge or consent.

The false returns included fabricated Schedule As, Schedule Cs, number of dependents, fuel tax credits and other items, federal prosecutors said.

As part of the investigation, special agents with the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division interviewed 11 of Namegabe’s clients who stated that Namegabe had falsified their returns, prosecutors said.

Undercover operation

In addition, as part of an undercover operation, an agent simply dropped off his Form W-2 at Namegabe’s business, provided his name and some identifying information, such as his Social Security Number, and left. With the information provided, the undercover agent was only entitled to a refund of $632.

Approximately two weeks later, the undercover agent’s return was posted to the IRS database. The return was prepared falsely and generated a refund of $3,235, according to prosecutors.

Will pay back taxes, penalties, interest

Namegabe also has agreed to pay back taxes, penalties and interest related to the false tax returns he prepared during the 2007 through 2011 tax years for the 11 individuals who were interviewed as part of the investigation. The tax loss attributed to those false returns is approximately $240,196.

The case is being investigated by the IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.