Great answer and information on how to ask about criminal laws without admitting criminal guilt.
What if a tax preparer hypothetically committed the following:
Diverted portions into their own personal accounts of the returns of taxpayers whose returns they prepared?
In the process of diverting a portion of the refund from the taxpayer the tax preparer altered the tax return by adding credits that were not entitled to the taxpayer?
Took all of the taxpayer refunds that were diverted and deposited into their account and withdrew them out of their account and never moved the money again after the withdrawals?
What if this tax preparer never prepared taxes of unwilling taxpayers. All of the taxpayers would have been clients of the preparer in this hypothetical matter, and the tax preparer just added false credits in order to divert a portion of the extra refund into their account via the IRS's direct deposit system?
Sounds fraudulent to me, but of course, someone would have to look carefully at the documentation and PROVE that is what happened and, by strong implication, the preparer must have INTENDED that to happen (couldn't have been a mere mistake or negligence. But seems to me you have a strong case if the above allegations can be documented and proven.
I agree with Jack but he is absolutely right that you have to be able to prove what is alleged to have occurred. When it comes to fraud, suspicion alone is not enough.
Thanks. Just curious Jack: In this hypothetical situation would bank records that illustrate the IRS direct deposits of the tax returns that were diverted, and records from the software provider used to transmit the returns along with taxpayer witnesses count as sufficient evidence?
Sounds like you're in the right ballpark, but there'd probably be some computer forensics component of it to show what was transmitted and what the IRS received, etc., kind of like what people who examine hard drives and networked communications have to do to authenticate data integrity and prove it wasn't cobbed up. So there'd probably have to be some kind of forensics consultant somewhere in that loop, I'd guess....