Tampa pastor and daughter plead guilty to $11 million tax fraud

The father and daughter ran a tax preparation business that an investigation found had falsified information on tax forms.
The Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in downtown Tampa. [Times]
The Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in downtown Tampa. [Times]
Published February 28

TAMPA — A Tampa pastor and his daughter have pleaded guilty in federal court to orchestrating a tax fraud conspiracy that cost the government more than $11 million.

Luckner Stimphil, 55, was the pastor of First Calvary Family Life Ministry in the Grant Park area of Tampa. In 2011, he opened Top Popular Tax, a tax preparation business. His 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.

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.

Stimphil and Dufort both face a maximum of five years in prison. Sentencing dates have not been set.

Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.

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