Chicago accountant indicted for tax fraud

SHARE Chicago accountant indicted for tax fraud
garrett.jpeg

Oscar Garrett | Cook County sheriff’s office

A accountant has been indicted for allegedly forging Illinois tax documents and defrauding the state out of nearly $500,000.

Oscar Garrett, 55, is accused of obtaining fraudulent Illinois tax returns in the names of more than a dozen clients between 2011 and 2015, according to a statement from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

While working as an accountant and tax preparer, Garrett allegedly filled out 1099-R forms to report self-employed income in the clients’ names when they didn’t have any such income, prosecutors said. He filed these returns without his clients’ knowledge and received more than $485,000 in fraudulent tax refunds from the state.

Garrett, who lives in Chicago, has been charged with identity theft, income tax evasion, theft of government property, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud and forgery, the attorney general’s office said. If convicted, he would face a sentence of six to 30 years in prison. He previously served more than two and a half years in federal prison for defrauding the IRS in a similar scheme.

“The defendant operated a scam to defraud the state and his clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own profit,” Madigan said in the statement. “When selecting a professional tax preparer, consumers should make sure they hire a reputable accountant and always review their tax return before signing and filing it.”

Bond for Garrett was set at $300,000, and he must prove he has a valid source of income before posting bond, prosecutors said. His arraignment was scheduled for April 13.

The Latest
Patrick Kane tallied three points (and reached another milestone), Petr Mrazek left with an injury and tensions with Rangers captain Jacob Trouba boiled over in the Hawks’ 5-2 victory Saturday.
MLB
Their fates are in the hands of a 16-member electorate that includes seven Hall of Fame players, including Ryne Sandberg and Frank Thomas.
Angelo Ciaravino scored 26 points and DeAndre Craig 20 to lead the Caravan to a 72-48 victory at Credit Union 1 Arena.
While Milton Scott left his son unattended, the 3-year-old boy found a gun Scott was holding on to for a friend and shot himself in the leg, Cook County prosecutors said Saturday.
The shooting appeared to be related to a double homicide in Gresham less than two hours earlier, according to the Oak Lawn police.