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United States v. Cajuste

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 21, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
BERTHA BABEY CAJUSTE also known as BERTHA BENOIT; EMPIRES VIP FINANCIAL, INC. also known as EMPIRES VIP; and EMPIRES VIP FIRM, INC., also known as EMPIRES VIP, Defendants.

          RICHARD E. ZUCKERMAN STEPHEN S. HO Counsel for the United States of America

          ORDER AND JUDGMENT OF PERMANENT INJUNCTION [DE 20]

         Having considered the United States' motion for a default judgment, any opposition thereto, the entire record of this proceeding, and for good cause shown, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law and enters this permanent injunction, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 55 and 65, and 26 U.S.C. § 7407.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. Defendants Bertha Babey Cajuste ("Cajuste"), also known as Bertha Benoit; Empires VIP Financial, Inc. ("VIP Financial"), also known as Empires VIP; and Empires VIP Firm, Inc. ("VIP Firm"), also known as Empires VIP, prepare federal income tax returns for customers located in and around East Orange, New Jersey.

         2. Cajuste, VIP Financial, and VIP Firm, are tax return preparers within the meaning of 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(36) because they prepare, and/or employ one or more persons to prepare, tax returns for others for compensation.

         3. Cajuste owns or operates VIP Financial and VIP Firm (collectively, "Empires VIP").

         Cajuste's Return Preparation Businesses

         4. The IRS estimates that Cajuste, individually and through her businesses, has prepared over 4, 000 federal income tax returns for the 2011 through 2017 tax filing seasons.

         Cajuste's Wrongful Tax Preparation Practices

         5. Cajuste, individually and through her businesses (including VIP Financial and VIP Firm), continually and repeatedly prepared federal income tax returns which willfully understated her customers' federal income tax liabilities and claimed inflated tax refunds for them through a variety of schemes.

         6. More specifically, Cajuste, individually and through her businesses (including VIP Financial and VIP Firm), prepared false federal income tax returns for her customers that:

a. Claimed false or overstated Schedule A deductions, including unreimbursed employee business expenses;
b. Reported false Schedule C businesses and business losses; and
c. Claimed false education credits.

         7. Defendants continually and repeatedly engaged in conduct that violated 26 U.S.C. § 6695(g) by failing to exercise diligence in determining their customers' eligibility for, or amounts of, tax credits such as the ...


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