TAMPA, FL—Their “customers” praised them in online reviews and, apparently, for good reason.
On Thursday, Luckner Stimphil, 55, and his daughter, Elwolfine Dufort, 31, pled guilty in federal court to orchestrating a tax fraud conspiracy that cost the government more than $11 million.
In 2011, Stimphil—the pastor of First Calvary Family Life Ministry in the Grant Park area of Tampa—started a tax preparation business called Top Popular Tax.
Stimphil’s daughter, Elwolfine Dufort, 31, was “one of a number of people who worked under his supervision, helping clients prepare tax forms for the Internal Revenue Service,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
An IRS investigation later revealed that many of the tax forms the business prepared contained false information related to business income and tax credits, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The losses to the government accumulated over a period of at least four years.
The father and daughter were indicted in 2018 on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Both entered plea agreements this month in which they agreed to pay more than $11 million in restitution. Both have also been permanently barred from assisting or teaching others about tax preparation.
Although they have not been sentenced yet, Stimphil and his daughter face a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison.