A tax preparer from Montvale was sentenced Tuesday to six years in federal prison for using a dead man's identity and a Las Vegas P.O. box to illegally collect refunds from the IRS -- while he was already awaiting trial on charges of helping scam the government out of more than $1.6 million.
Wayne Dunich-Kolb, 54, must serve the entire term because there is no parole in the federal prison system.
From 2006-2008, Dunich-Kolb grossed $500,000 to $657,000 per year – but claimed a total of only $400 for 2006, $526 for 2007 and $489 for 2008 on his own federal income tax returns, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Dunich-Kolb also had the IRS mail the dead client’s refunds to the post office box in Las Vegas – which were then forwarded to his Montvale home, deposited in his personal accounts and used, Carpenito said.
Federal agents arrested Dunich-Kolb in March 2018 after a grand jury in Newark returned a new 29-count indictment accusing him of filing bogus tax returns, stealing client refunds and committing identity theft.
He was first indicted in March 2014 on charges of filing false returns and then indicted on additional charges in December 2016.
Carpenito said Dunich-Kolb prepared and filed the bogus returns through various tax preparation entities, including Dunich-Kolb LLC, Jadran Services Corp., Adriatica Payroll Corp., Adriatica Tax Planning LLC, and Adriatic Tax Planning LLC (collectively, the “tax preparation entities”), which he ran from his former residence in Saddle River and then from his current home in Montvale.
Dunich-Kolb also maintained a U.S. Post Office box in Las Vegas as part of the scheme, the U.S. attorney said.
From 2007 through 2016, Dunich-Kolb got clients to form fictitious partnerships or corporations that existed in name only and had no business purpose other than to falsely reduce their tax liability, Carpenito said.
“He prepared false and fraudulent business returns for clients’ fictitious businesses by fabricating and inflating business expenses, such as advertising, travel and other miscellaneous expenses, in order to generate fraudulent business and partnership losses, which he then used to substantially reduce taxpayers’ taxable income on their individual federal income tax returns,” the U.S. attorney said.
Dunich-Kolb also doctored his own personal federal income tax returns by “substantially underreporting” income from his business, Carpenito said.
Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Montvale police with the investigation leading to a guilty plea secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Devlin, chief of his Asset Recovery / Money Laundering Unit.
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