Update:New Jersey Tax Preparer Arrested for $124 Million COVID-19 Tax Credit Fraud

New Jersey Tax Preparer Arrested for $124 Million COVID-19 Tax Credit Fraud

NEWARK, N.J. – Leon Haynes, 49, a tax preparer from Teaneck, New Jersey, was arrested recently, following allegations of fraudulent activity involving COVID-19-related employment tax credits. The charges brought against Haynes include eight counts of aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns and one count of mail fraud.

As per the U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg, Haynes is accused of attempting to exploit the IRS to obtain more than $124 million. The alleged scheme involved filing over 1,000 falsified tax forms for himself and clients, claiming COVID-19-related employment tax credits.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article included information suggesting additional criminal charges against Haynes. We have since learned that this information was incorrect, and we apologize for the error. The article has been updated to reflect that the charges brought against Haynes relate exclusively to the alleged fraudulent activity involving COVID-19 employment tax credits.

Please read on for more information on the alleged fraudulent activities, as reported by federal authorities.


If anyone has information about attempts at fraud involving COVID-19, they are encouraged to report it to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Remember, the charges and allegations against Haynes are merely accusations. He is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

For further updates on this case, stay tuned to our coverage.