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>Tax preparation firm banned from practice

A federal judge has permanently barred a Hamburg tax preparation firm from preparing federal income taxes.

Duffek, O'Connor & Associates of Hamburg can no longer legally prepare returns because an investigation showed that the firm prepared tax returns for clients that included deductions for "fictitious and inflated charitable contributions," the U.S. Justice Department said.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the firm understated tax liabilities of its customers by more than $2 million.

"[The] government alleged that the returns prepared by the defendants claimed fictitious and inflated employee expenses for such items as work clothes, teaching and coaching supplies, student and athlete rewards and cellular telephone expenses," the Justice Department said in a news release issued Tuesday.

According to the release, U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny issued a permanent injunction barring the firm, Brian Duffek and Patrick O'Connor from preparing federal returns.

The firm is no longer listed in telephone books and could not be reached to comment.


>Hamburg man charged in child-porn case

A Hamburg man faces a slew of criminal charges in connection with his alleged involvement in photographing adolescent children for pornographic purposes, Hamburg police reported Tuesday.

John Kiesznoski, 48, of East Canyon Drive was charged with eight counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child, one count of criminal sexual act, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawfully dealing with a child, forcible touching and sexual abuse.

Lt. Kevin Trask launched the investigation about three months ago after receiving a report of "suspicious activity" involving a green van that was apparently picking up and dropping off teenage children throughout the day.

Authorities recovered numerous images of child pornography, including photographic images that were allegedly taken by Kiesznoski, during a search of his residence.

Three victims, ranging in age from 13 to 16, were located by Hamburg detectives Todd Ehret and Glenn Zawierucha. Any other possible victims or anyone with information linking Kiesznoski to similar crimes is asked to contact Trask at 648-5111, Ext. 2614.

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