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Hillsborough Pastor, Daughter Plead Guilty in Tax Fraud Conspiracy

Law | Courts | Legal Aid

The two have agreed to pay more than $11 million to the IRS as restitution.

TAMPA – A Hillsborough minister and his daughter have pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that they conspired to defraud the U.S. government, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Luckner Stimphil, 55, of Brandon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. His daughter, Elwolfine Dufort, 31, of Riverview, pleaded guilty Feb. 21 for her role in the conspiracy. Stimphil and Dufort each face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Pursuant to their plea agreements, Stimphil and Dufort have agreed to pay more than $11 million in restitution to the U.S. Department of the Treasury relating to the conspiracy. Stimphil also consented to pay all taxes, interest, and penalties found to be owed and due to the IRS relating to his personal tax returns for years 2012 and 2013.

Stimphil and Dufort have also agreed to be permanently enjoined from preparing or assisting in the preparation or filing of federal tax returns for any other person or entity; from maintaining any association with a tax return preparation business; and from instructing, teaching, or otherwise training any person in the preparation of federal tax returns.

According to court documents, Stimphil, the then-pastor at First Calvary Family Life Ministry located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevsard in Tampa, created and operated Top Popular Tax, a tax return preparation business with offices in Tampa, Winter Haven, and elsewhere. The business operated from 2011 through at least mid-2015.

There, Stimphil, his daughter, and others working under Stimphil’s supervision, routinely assisted in and advised clients in the preparation and presentation of tax forms to the IRS, which included materially false and fraudulent information on client-taxpayers’ Schedule C Forms (business income or loss) and Forms 8863 (associated with a claim for the American opportunity credit). Some of the information submitted on Forms 1040 also included a false and fraudulent claim for a credit for federal tax on fuels on Form 4136.

This case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation.

U.S. Attorney | Courts | Crime | Tax Fraud | Tampabay News

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Hillsborough Pastor, Daughter Plead Guilty in Tax Fraud Conspiracy
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Hillsborough Pastor, Daughter Plead Guilty in Tax Fraud Conspiracy
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The two have agreed to pay more than $11 million to the IRS as restitution.
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TB Reporter
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