MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 64-year-old Minnetonka man has been accused of stealing clients’ refund money and committing other crimes while working as a tax preparer, the Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Wednesday.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office recently charged John William Zastrow 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’ refunders were issued to his bank account. He allegedly listed his address and bank account number in place of his clients’ on their tax returns, which also included false information to inflate the size of the refunds.
The attorney’s office says Zastrow kept more than $31,000 of his clients’ refund money between 2008 and 2012.
If convicted, Zastrow could face up to five years in prison for each false tax return charge and up to 10 years per identity theft charge.