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Department of Taxation and Finance

Staten Island Tax Preparer Sentenced for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns Court orders defendant to pay NYS Tax Department $50,000

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that a tax preparer working on Staten Island has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal tax fraud.

Thomas Falkowski, 48, of 1727 Helen St., Wall Township, NJ, was arrested earlier this year by investigators with the Tax Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and detectives from the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office.

Falkowski, who worked out of a Staten Island-based office at 358 Clarke Ave., was charged with filing tax returns with inflated itemized deductions, including ones for charitable contributions.

The defendant’s plea agreement in Richmond County Criminal Court resulted in the court ordering a restitution payment of $50,000. He was also barred from preparing and filing New York State tax returns.

 “We work diligently year-round to protect taxpayers from unscrupulous tax preparers,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We’ll continue to work with the Richmond County District Attorney and all our partners in law enforcement to bring bad preparers to justice.”

“Tax preparers who engage in theft and fraud take money out of the pockets of hardworking Staten Islanders,” said Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “My office’s Economic Crimes Bureau will continue working closely with the New York State Tax Department to hold these individuals accountable for their crimes.”

Tax preparer checklist

To help consumers screen potential tax preparers, the Tax Department has published a checklist at Tips for hiring a tax preparer. Use the checklist as a guide before you hire a preparer.

If you're aware of a tax preparer who has engaged in illegal or improper conduct, you can file a tax preparer complaint online or contact the New York State Tax Department at 518-530-HELP (option #2). The information is kept confidential. The Tax Department promptly reviews each complaint and takes corrective action when appropriate.