Federal Court Holds West Palm Beach Tax Preparer in Contempt

Federal Court Holds West Palm Beach Tax Preparer in Contempt

A federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, held on March 20 that Jeffrey Cadet violated a permanent injunction entered against him on Aug. 12, 2019, which barred him from acting as a federal tax return preparer or requesting, assisting in, or directing the preparation or filing of federal tax returns for others.

On Jan. 5, 2022, following an investigation of Cadet’s activities, the United States filed a Motion for Order to Show Cause asking the court to hold Cadet in civil contempt based on evidence that he was preparing tax returns without signing them as the return preparer. The investigation was undertaken by the Tax Division as part of its effort to monitor the conduct of return preparers who have been enjoined from preparing returns for others, and to hold accountable those who violate their injunction.

As the court noted, Cadet did not respond to the motion or contest the evidence against him. Based on the evidence presented by the United States, the court found that Cadet violated his injunction by continuing to prepare returns for customers and held him in civil contempt. To remedy his contempt, the court ordered Cadet to disgorge $24,410 in ill-gotten fees he received for conduct that violated the injunction. The court also ordered Cadet to pay the United States $7,386.39 to reimburse the government for the attorneys’ fees it incurred to investigate and prosecute his post-injunction conduct. 

The injunction barring Cadet from preparing tax returns remains in effect, and the United States remains authorized to monitor his compliance with the court’s orders.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.

Taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant against unscrupulous tax preparers, including “ghost preparers” who don’t sign the returns they prepare. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers. The IRS also offers 10 tips to avoid tax season fraud and ways to safeguard their personal information.

In the past decade, the Department of Justice Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers.  Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page.  If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.

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