A Lafayette-based tax preparer, who has also operated his business in Kokomo, Indianapolis and Chicago, faces federal charges that he falsified clients’ tax information in 2009, then skimmed money from the over-sized returns.

Darren A. Dunham, 46, proprietor of D.A.D. Income Tax Service, was arrested on a warrant Wednesday after the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hammond filed a complaint against him on March 17.

Dunham faces five counts of aiding and assisting in preparation of a false or fraudulent tax return, according to court records.

Investigators allege in court documents that Dunham, the former director of a drug rehabilitation clinic in Lafayette, solicited his tax preparation services to former rehab participants and people living in low-income housing.

Five women testify in the complaint that Dunham approached them with his services. He took their personal information and exaggerated or fabricated incomes and other information, the witnesses say.

Tax returns went to Dunham’s bank accounts, then he gave the women checks for lower amounts and kept the difference, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond Thursday afternoon to a voicemail message seeking comment.

For more of this story, read Friday’s issue of the Kokomo Tribune.

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