Local News

Elm City man barred from preparing tax returns

Posted March 11, 2009 2:06 p.m. EDT

— A federal court has permanently barred an Elm City man from preparing federal income tax returns for others, Department of Justice officials announced Wednesday.

Raymond A. Renfrow is accused of being involved in a tax fraud scheme that used fake trusts to falsely deduct customers’ non-deductible personal expenses.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina entered a civil injunction order, which also stops Renfrow from promoting the scheme.

The court found that Renfrow prepared tax returns for customers that caused an estimated loss of more than $1.4 million to the U.S. Treasury.

Renfrow’s false tax returns were based on three tax schemes he promoted for Concept Marketing International – a company that operated a multi-level marketing scheme involving American Eagle silver coin sales, the court stated.

The tax schemes falsely purported to enable participants to take tax deductions for the cost of coins they bought, to deduct non-deductible personal living expenses and to use fake trusts to exempt income and assets from taxation, the court found.

Renfrow has been required to give the Justice Department a list of his customers’ names, addresses, e-mail addresses and Social Security numbers.

A federal jury found CMI’s founder, James E. Aldridge Jr., guilty of tax-related criminal charges in 2007. He is currently serving a prison sentence.