Federal Court Enjoins Man Posing as Attorney and CPA

A federal court in San Diego has barred a man from preparing federal tax returns for others, providing tax advice for compensation or any promise of compensation and working for any business that provides tax advice or prepares tax returns.

Lawrence Preston Siegel, who was wanted on a 20-count criminal complaint, was failed to appear in court November 9 to defend his civil case.

The complaint, filed in 2014, charged him with Medi-Cal fraud, grand theft, forgery, identity theft, financial dependent adult abuse and tax evasion.

The civil complaint alleges that Siegel used multiple aliases to impersonate licensed California attorneys. It says Siegel lost his CPA license in 1997 after being convicted of tax evasion among other federal crimes. He allegedly never regained his accreditation. He resigned from the California bar in 1994.

According to the complaint Siegel falsely advised successful business owners that they could establish companies in another state, usually Nevada and treat their California home as an out-of-state corporate office. That way, he claimed, the business owners could claim personal expenses as deductible business expenses.

In preparing tax returns, Siegel reportedly filed many without reviewing them or with the permission of clients. According to the complaint he also attempted to hide fraudulent tax deductions from the IRS by lumping them together and reporting them as expenses for ‘supplies’ and ‘medical records and supplies.’

Siegel allegedly provided false corporate documents to the IRS in order to deceive auditors examining his fraud, produced fake contracts to IRS auditors and lied to IRS officials during U.S. Tax Court litigation when asked to confirm information on behalf of his customers.

According to the complaint Siegel bragged about his tax schemes via email.

Over the last ten years the IRS has obtained injunctions against hundreds of dishonest tax preparers. Tips for selecting a tax preparer can be found on their website.

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