You’d think this guy would know better.
A Virginia tax preparer was convicted of failing to file tax returns for himself for five years, as well as preparing false tax returns for many of his clients.
Karl Burden-El Bey, 65, of Hampton, Va. was found guilty by a federal jury of not filing any tax returns from 2013 through 2017. He also was convicted of claiming false dependents, energy credits, charitable donations and other deductions for dozens of clients in order to inflate their tax refunds, prosecutors said.
Burden-El Bey additionally was found guilty of stealing $5,000 by directing part of a client’s refund to his own bank account, prosecutors said.
“The evidence at trial demonstrated that the defendant’s criminal conduct in this case spanned several years and included assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, stealing government funds, and failing to file personal federal income tax returns even though he held a trusted position as a tax preparer,” said Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Burden-El Bey was convicted following a three-day trial in Newport News, Va., during which he presented no defense. Following his indictment in March 2020, Burden-El Bey fired his first attorney and attempted twice to fire his second, court-appointed attorney, but was denied by the judge.
Court filings by his second attorney said that Burden-El Bey declined to participate in efforts to defend him. Burden-El Bey said in his own filings that he considered himself a “sovereign individual” and expressed views consistent with the Sovereign Citizens Movement whose adherents typically believe the U.S. government has no legal jurisdiction over its citizens and don’t believe they should have to pay taxes.
The filings also noted that he was a disabled veteran who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
Burden-El Bey couldn’t be reached and his attorney didn’t immediately reply to a message seeking comment.
He is set to be sentenced on December 7.