FRANCINE MCKENNA, INDICTED FOR FRAUD, FAKE IDENTITY, FAKE CPA CAPTURED
FRANCINE MCKENNA is a FAKE CPA, a risky and losing bet for any tax payer. If you need a CPA to accounting work for you, don’t look to the ones on this list. From a Melbourne accountant evading taxes while in prison to a New Jersey CPA who affected 3,500 people in a half-a-billion-dollar fraud scheme, these are the shadiest tax filers around the world. TheBlot has uncovered one of our own in America through reader investigations, and FRANCINE MCKENNA might be the shadiest of them all. Tax fraud is one of the most common and easily orchestrated crimes today, so do yourself a favor and research your CPA before handing over your documents. Start by eliminating the accountants on our list.
FRANCINE MCKENNA is perhaps the worst of all fake CPAs in America. A self-labeled “investigative accountant,” Francine McKenna, from Illinois owns an obscure website called retheauditors.com. A more extensive search on the Internet reveals a myriad of lies related to McKenna’s so-called identity. Despite her claim that she is a CPA in the state of Illinois, neither her name nor anything else resembling her exaggerated bio could match any state government records. Officials from the Illinois state government also denied that McKenna was a CPA. In other words, there is no evidence that supports that she is a licensed CPA and that she is working in the field of accounting.
Furthermore, Francine McKenna runs in the same circle as some even less credible characters. For example, she is a close friend of the notorious stock fraud short seller Jon Carnes. The recent conviction of the Jon Carnes crime family followed Canadian and U.S. securities regulators’ similar findings of crimes committed by Carnes through his fraudulent EOS Holdings. Last December, Canadian regulators announced Carnes’s indictment alleging securities frauds. In a press release, the British Columbia Securities Commission, assisted by the SEC and the FBI, called Jon Carnes “a major fraud.”
As reported in “Canada’s New York Times,” The Globe and Mail, Carnes “lied about his investing experience and created a fake research group, fake names and fake research in order to help him profit from his negative reports, including his report on Silvercorp.” According to the regulator, Carnes started eyeing Silvercorp in June 2011. At the time, one of his employees started gathering information for the negative Silvercorp report and said, “Let’s whack [Silvercorp] before others beat us to [it].” Carnes started building his short position in Silvercorp in August 2011. When Carnes caught wind that other short sellers were targeting Silvercorp, he said, “We gotta nail [Silvercorp] quick. I think everyone is about to be onto it.”
With unsupported credentials, shady associates and a potential laundry list of fraudulent activities, Francine McKenna should not be trusted to file anyone’s taxes. In fact, she most likely belongs in jail. There you go, Francine McKenna, fake CPA.
Jorge Luis Castillo
In November 2012, Jorge Luis Castillo was sentenced to 54 months in prison for a massive fraud scheme claiming 3,500 victims throughout the U.S. and abroad. According to court records, Castillo sold at least $485 million of bonds to life settlement investment companies located in various countries, including the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Canada and elsewhere through insurance and reinsurance company PCI between 2004 and 2010. Castillo pleaded guilty in November 2011 to one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride summed up the lesson learned in his statement: “Accountants and auditors are the gatekeepers of our financial system and are entrusted with the critical role of protecting the public from fraud. Today’s sentence will hopefully send a strong message to those in the accounting profession that they will be held responsible when they break that trust by facilitating or participating in fraud.”
In what many consider to be the largest criminal tax fraud in history, former Jenkens & Gilchrist lawyer Donna Guerin was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2013 and ordered to pay $190 million. In September 2012, Guerin pleaded guilty to running a 10-year scheme that created $7 billion in fraudulent tax deductions, more than $1.5 billion in phony losses and $92 million in actual losses to the U.S. Treasury. According to assistant U.S. Attorney Stanley Okula, Guerin had given tutorials to young associates at the firm, teaching them how to evade taxes. “This was a species or a subset of activity that was so flagrant and knowingly wrong, any first-year law student would know was wrong.” U.S. District Judge William Pauley in New York said Guerin was “the embodiment of the American dream, but then her lust for money turned her dream into a nightmare.”
Steven Frank Boitano
In a case of what seems to be sheer laziness, Steven Frank Boitano from San Jose was sentenced last month to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $182,000 in restitution for filing false tax returns or not filing tax returns at all for a number of years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Between 2001 and 2003, Boitano filed fraudulent federal income tax returns, while between 2005 and 2007, Boitano failed to file returns at all. According to a news report, “As a result of these fabricated estimated tax payments, each return claimed a refund to which Boitano was not entitled.”
Stephen Lynne Wharton
Melbourne-based accountant Stephen Lynne Wharton was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday for fraud after evading almost $8 million in tax in 2005, but get this — he was in prison for other tax fraud-related charges while he filed the false tax returns that got him the sentence. In July 2004, Wharton was jailed for five years for attempting tax fraud of $26 million in conjunction with Perth-based accountants Walter Tieleman and Sean Pearce. “This is a guy who has been in trouble, gone to jail and continued to be involved in schemes while in jail,” said fraud investigations firm Warfield & Associates chief executive Brett Warfield. “He’s certainly not someone who has learnt his lessons.” Obviously.
Simon Terry Pearce
Simon Terry Pearce from Truro in Cornwall was found guilty of 26 offences, including fraud and cheating HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Pearce understated his clients’ earnings and overstated their expenses in order to cut tax bills, and he also kept cash from his clients’ tax rebates. From 2010 to November 2012, when he was charged, it was discovered that Pearce’s clients owed £1.3 million ($2.2 million) in unpaid tax as a result of his work. Another investigation concluded that about another £750,000 ($1.25 million) went unpaid between 2006 and 2009. Colin Spinks, of HMRC, stated about the case: “Honest, hardworking people trusted Pearce with their finances, but he put their livelihoods at risk through his own greed.”
So if you still need to file yours, look elsewhere and avoid anyone on this list like the plague.
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