Tax Preparer Arrested on Alleged Contempt

Harbor City tax preparer James A. Mattatall has been arrested on suspicion of contempt of court for failing to comply with a judge’s order to turn over names, addresses and Social Security numbers of his customers, the Justice Department said Monday.

Justice officials say Mattatall charged clients $5,000 to set up sham trusts to evade taxes. The Internal Revenue Service has audited 18 of Mattatall’s clients, assessing $1 million in taxes and penalties. An additional 140 returns that Mattatall prepared are under examination, the government said in a suit filed last year.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson on Monday appointed a public defender to represent Mattatall, who was arrested Friday and remained in federal custody Monday.