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Feds: Ex-Saddle River Tax Preparer Collected Returns Using Dead Man's ID

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

SADDLE RIVER, N.J. – A tax preparer from Montvale used 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, a federal grand jury charged.

Federal agents early Friday arrested 53-year-old Wayne Dunich-Kolb 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 “in connection with refunds stolen from a deceased taxpayer,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Dunich-Kolb was first indicted in March 2014 on charges of filing false returns and then indicted on additional charges in December 2016.

“Today’s second superseding indictment adds five counts of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns, 12 counts of mail fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft,” Carpenito said.

All occurred while Dunich-Kolb was free and awaiting trial on the other charges, he said.

An initial appearance on the new charges was scheduled for this Monday in U.S. District Court in Newark.

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, Carpenito said.

He 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.

From 2006-2008, he grossed $500,000 to $657,000 per year – but claimed a total of only $400 for 2006, $526 for 2007 and $489 for 2008, the U.S. attorney 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.

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 Friday’s charges.

Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirley U. Emehelu, chief of Carpenito’s Asset Recovery / Money Laundering Unit.

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