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Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Oahu tax preparer
pleads innocent
to fraud charges

By Tim Ruel


Oahu tax preparer Richard James Basuel has pleaded not guilty to state charges of fraud and theft for allegedly telling clients to declare income earned in Hawaii as earned in a foreign country.

Basuel, 58, was arraigned yesterday morning in First Circuit Court. He also faces allegations that he inflated exemptions on income tax returns he prepared for customers. Both strategies allow taxpayers to pay less money to the government. Trial is scheduled for Aug. 7.

William A. Harrison, Basuel's attorney, said he would vigorously defend the case. Harrison would not give details of that defense.

Basuel runs RB Tax Service in Kalihi and Waipahu with son Richard James Basuel II, who is 29. Their company is among the largest tax preparer's in the state, with 4,775 returns done at its Kalihi office in 1998, according to Pacific Business News' "Book of Lists 2000."

Both father and son pleaded no contest earlier this year to charges of failing to file state excise taxes in 1995, 1997 and 1997. They face sentencing April 28 for those charges. The younger Basuel is not included in the more recent charges.

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