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Preparer Guilty in Tax Shelter Fraud

An Arizona tax preparer has pleaded guilty to using an abusive-trust tax scheme to shelter more than $60 million in income from the Internal Revenue Service.

From 2017 to 2013, Kent Ellsworth, operated Ellsworth Stauffer P.C, pleaded guilty to two counts of tax return fraud for more than 500 false tax returns for about 60 clients nationwide filed from 2017 through 2013. This cost the IRS a tax loss of about $17 million.

Clients, largely business owners, were directed to to assign or “donate” nearly all of their income to sham trusts and a so-called “private family foundation” to create the illusion that the income was not theirs. However, these were nothing more than bank accounts designed to hold funds the clients earned and continued to control.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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