Federal grand jury indicts Nashville tax preparer

Monday, April 19, 2010 at 1:48pm
Staff reports

An Antioch man who was the target of a state suit for claiming to be an attorney and CPA is in trouble with the law again.

A federal grand jury indicted Elmer Virula earlier this month on charged on 16 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns, the U.S. Attorney's office announced Monday.

According to the indictment, Virula prepared fraudulent federal income tax returns for others to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service for calendar years 2003 through 2006. The returns claimed numerous false deductions and tax credits including fraudulently claimed fuel tax, education, and telephone excise tax credits.

Virula was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. He faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and fine of $250,000 on each count if convicted.

In the previous case, Attorney General Bob Cooper claimed Virula engaged in "unfair and deceptive acts" by incorrectly marketing himself as an attorney and certified public accountant.

Through TPS Tax Professional Services Inc., Office Professional Services Inc., TPS Tax Professional Services Inc. and Office Professional Services Inc., the state claimed Virula targeted the Hispanic community with claims he could perform marriages, prepare tax documents and immigration documents.

At the heart of the case was the linguistic confusion that exists in the Hispanic community over the "notario publico" designation, which in Mexico denotes a highly trained attorney, but whose rough English translation confers only the ability to handle notary functions.