United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
ORDER OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
GREGORY A. PRESNELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court after a December 1, 2017
hearing on the Government's Motion For Preliminary
Injunction (Doc. 61) (henceforth, the “Motion”).
The deadline for filing a response to the Motion has passed,
and no Defendant has done so. However, three Defendants -
Joseph Demesmin, Mario Cooper, and Elie Dorceus - attended
individual Defendants are tax preparers; the LLC Defendants
are the entities through which the individual Defendants
operate their tax preparation businesses. The Government
contends that for the past several years the individual
Defendants have prepared and overseen the preparation of
federal income tax returns that create “large - but
false - tax refunds through fabricated income, expenses,
deductions, and credits.” (Motion at 2). Part of these
excessive refunds would be paid to the preparer in the form
of fees for preparing the return.
January 9, 2017, the Government file d the instant suit,
seeking to enjoin the Defendants and those associated with
them from participating in or associating with tax
preparation pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7407 (Count I), 26
U.S.C. § 7408 (Count II), and 26 U.S.C. § 7402(a)
(Count III). The Government also seeks disgorgement as to all
Defendants pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7402(a).
Government contends that the Defendants have continued to
prepare and oversee the preparation of false tax returns even
after this suit was filed. On November 15, 2017 the
Government filed the Motion, seeking a preliminary injunction
that would, inter alia, prevent the Defendants from
engaging in or assisting with tax preparation during the
upcoming tax season. The meticulously documented Motion is
accompanied by numerous exhibits, including dozens of
depositions of individuals who had their re turns prepared by
one of the businesses a t issue in recent years (Doc. 63-1 to
63-43). Generally speaking, those individuals testified that
the preparers falsified the information on their returns
without their knowledge in numerous ways, such as by
mischaracterizing non-deductible expenses as deductible or by
simply making up deductible expenses that the individual
never actually incurred. Many of the deponents also testified
that they were not provided with copies of their returns, and
that the person they saw preparing their return did not sign
with the depositions, the Government provided copies of the
tax returns at issue, including financial records showing
portions of the refunds being paid to the Defendants.
December 1, 2017, the Court held a hearing on the Motion.
Only three of the individual Defendants appeared - Joseph
Demesmin, Mario Cooper, and Elie Dorceus. All three,
appearing pro se, addressed the Court. While not
admitting having participated in the preparation of false tax
returns, none attempted to re but the Government's
arguments. All three stated they had no intention of
preparing taxes in the upcoming tax season.
determining whether preliminary injunctive relief is merited,
the district court must consider whether the movant has
established: (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits; (2) that irreparable injury will be suffered if the
relief is not granted; (3) that the threatened injury
outweighs the harm the relief would inflict on the
non-movant; and (4) that entry of the relief would serve the
public interest. Schiavo ex rel. Schindler v.
Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223, 1225-26 (11th Cir. 2005)
Injunctive relief vs . tax preparers
Government seeks injunctive relief in this case under several
provisions of the Internal Re venue Code, including 26 U.S.C.
§ 7407, which authorizes the imposition of ...