Minnetonka Tax Preparer Charged 12 Feb 14

The Minnesota Department of Revenue says the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has charged 64-year-old John William Zastrow of Minnetonka, with 28 tax-related felonies.

Zastrow, a tax preparer, is charged with four counts of identity theft and 24 counts of filing a false tax return.

According to the criminal complaint, Zastrow was working as a tax preparer when 92 deposits containing his clients’ refunds were issued into a bank account he controlled. On his clients’ tax returns, Zastrow listed his address and bank account number in place of his clients’ without their knowledge or consent. The tax returns also included false information to inflate the size of the refunds.

Between 2008 and 2012, Zastrow kept more than $31,000 of his clients’ refund money.

Each false tax return charge carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The identity theft charges each carry a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.