Tax Resource Center is a tax return preparation business located in South Florida with several office locations. The company prepares approximately 1,500 tax returns a year. In 2007, Tax Resource Center prepared over 250 tax returns that claimed the First Time Home Buyer Credit. This was a $7,500 credit the government offered to try to jump start the real estate sector during the great real estate collapse.
The IRS computer determined that Tax Resource Center and in particular its owner, Noe Mompoint, had prepared an unusually high number of tax returns claiming the First Time Home Buyer Credit. An investigation was commenced. The agents interviewed each individual taxpayer. The IRS discovered that over 225 taxpayers that claimed the credit did not qualify. In fact, many never purchased a home.
The IRS selected the worst 14 tax returns and indicted Noe Mompoint on 14 counts of preparing and filing false tax returns. One government lawyer told Mr. Mompoint that this case was going to be like "Shooting Fish in a Barrel."
Mr. Mompoint chose to go to trial. The federal jury trial lasted over a week and the jury returned its verdict in just over 45 minutes. NOT GUILTY ALL COUNTS.
Statement of Noe Mompoint
In South Florida, in the income tax community there is one living legend, David M. Garvin. When I was falsely accused of preparing false tax returns I knew who I had to hire. There was no second choice. I am from the country of Haiti. If I had lost, I would have been deported. My wife and children are U.S. citizens. The pressure left me unable to sleep for days at a time.
My trial was unbelievable. Lies after lies. Taxpayers who told me that they purchased a home and qualified for the First Time Home Buyer Credit lied on the stand and said that they had no idea how the credit got on their tax return.
Luckily, Mr. Garvin was able to prove that there was no evidence that I did anything wrong. During the trial the government lawyer would ask the witness to identify me. I was the only black person in the courtroom. Each witness pointed at me.
I do not have a transcript of my trial but I recall the events as follows:
Mr. Garvin noticed a slight hesitation by one witness. No one else noticed. He cross-examined the witness. Mr. Garvin said in a loud confident voice, "So you actually think Mr. Mompoint is in this courtroom. You said that didn't you?" The witness froze.
Mr. Garvin: "Well, are you sure he is in this courtroom?" Witness reluctantly: "No."
Mr. Garvin: "No, he's not here. But you were willing to lie to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury weren't you?"
Witness: "I'm not certain."
The entire time I was sitting there for everyone to see. The Judge, the jury, the government lawyers and agents. The move was simply brilliant.
I am thankful for the outcome of my case. The legend of David M. Garvin continues to grow.