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PACOIMA MAN FACES NEW TAX CHARGES.

Byline: Troy Anderson Staff Writer

In one of the largest tax fraud cases in Los Angeles County history, a Pacoima tax preparer who cost the IRS more than $21 million in taxes has been indicted for the second time in three years, officials said Tuesday.

James Earl Wynn, 63, was named in a superseding 24-count federal indictment alleging he prepared clients' tax returns and wiped out their taxes with bogus business losses involving $75 million, IRS spokesman Gary Tang said.

``Tax day is approaching and everyone must take great care in selecting a tax preparer who is honest and professional, and remember that the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for what is placed on their tax return,'' said John S. Fowler, acting IRS criminal investigation special agent-in-charge.

Wynn's scheme involved clients who accepted his offer and elected to become partners in his purported businesses, according to the IRS affidavit.

Wynn allegedly prepared the client's tax returns showing large partnership losses, which, in most cases, reduced the client's taxable income to zero. As a result, the clients received income tax refund amounts equivalent to their withholdings and paid no federal income tax.

Wynn, who obtained clients primarily through word-of-mouth, allegedly told clients that they benefited because if they invested in his businesses and the businesses did well, they would get a portion of the profits but if the businesses did poorly, they would receive deductions on their income tax returns.

IRS agents searched Wynn's offices, 12967 Van Nuys Blvd. in Pacoima, in September 1998. He was indicted in August 2000 by a grand jury that charged him with 14 counts of preparing false income tax returns for the tax years 1994 through 1997.

The IRS alleges that after he was indicted and awaiting trial on those charges, Wynn continued to prepare false income tax returns using nearly identical schemes.

A second warrant was executed at the business in April 2002 for evidence of the preparation of tax returns for the tax years 1998 through 2001.

Wynn has been in custody since April 2002 when U.S. District Judge Spencer Letts revoked his bail for violating terms of his pre-trial supervision.

Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985

troy.anderson(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 17, 2003
Words:367
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