A Mount Vernon tax preparer was arrested on Wednesday on charges of preparing false tax returns that fabricated or inflated deductions by more than $630,000.
Samuel Gentle, 59, entered a plea of not guilty to the 50-count indictment before Magistrate Judge Judith McCarthy in U.S. District Court, White Plains. Gentle operates GenGen Corp., a tax, accounting and financial services firm at 35 Colonial Place, Mount Vernon.
The alleged conduct covered the 2009 to 2012 tax years.
In April 2012, an undercover Internal Revenue Service agent posed as a client seeking tax preparation services. The agent recorded a meeting with audio-video equipment during which he presented Gentle with a W-2 form that purported to represent income in 2011.
After a short conversation, the indictment says, Gentle prepared a document that itemized false deductions for gifts to charities and for employee business expenses that the undercover agent had never discussed or documented.
Gentle prepared a tax return claiming a $574 refund instead of producing a tax liability. He filed the tax return electronically and collected a $50 fee from the agent.
The indictment outlines similar instances involving 17 taxpayers. It charges Gentle with aiding and assisting preparation of false and fraudulent income tax returns. Each count carries a maximum prison term of three years, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to discuss details of the case this morning, such as what prompted the investigation and why Gentle was indicted several years after the alleged misconduct.
Gentle and his attorney, Jared Scharf, did not respond to requests for comment.
GenGen’s website describes its goal as providing clients with “quality and honest professional services.” It says Gentle founded the firm in 1982 in New York City to serve mom-and-pop establishments, nonprofit organizations, and West Indian and Caribbean ethnic communities. The firm relocated to the Bronx, Pelham, and in 2005 to Mount Vernon. It prepares about 3,400 tax returns a year, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.