Indictment: Kent tax preparer bilked clients out of $300,000

SEATTLE - A Kent tax preparer was arrested Friday morning after being indicted for a tax fraud scheme in which he falsely claimed tax refunds while victimizing his clients, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said.

Ryan Lanh Yann, 60, was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of false, fictitious or fraudulent claims, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges Yann collected more than $300,000 with his illegal scheme.

According to the indictment, Yann prepared income tax returns for clients, many of whom were immigrants who were not familiar with the U.S. tax system and did not have strong English language skills.

Yann would provide his clients one version of their tax return, while filing a different version of the tax return with the IRS, according to the indictment.

On the filed tax return, Yann would claim additional false deductions, inflating the size of the tax refund, and keep the additional refund money for himself, the indictment says.

In some instances, Yann would allegedly tell a client he owed taxes, and then keep the money the client provided. He would then file a second version of the return in which he claimed a tax refund, which he kept for his own use, according to the indictment.

Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison term in addition to any other sentence imposed in the case. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Making false and fictitious claims is punishable by up to five years in prison.