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Springfield tax preparer sentenced for fraud

A tax preparer received an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to submitting taxes filed incorrectly on behalf of her customers. The woman is 51 years old and pleaded guilty to the offense in November of 2012.

According to authorities, the woman operated a Springfield, Massachusetts tax preparation business. Between February 2007 and April 2008, she knowingly prepared numerous fraudulent tax returns so that customers would receive larger tax refunds. A United States Attorney with the Department of Justice stated that the woman made misrepresentations to IRS representatives, provided false documents for customers to give to the Massachusetts Department of the Internal Revenue Service, and advised and told her customers to lie to the IRS. Authorities have discovered that the tax preparer is from the Dominican Republic and does not have a valid visa to be in the United States. The prosecution believes that the woman used identifying information from another person who is a legal United States resident to operate her business, open bank accounts, open credit cards and acquire a driver's license.

The woman pleaded guilty to the offenses of filing false tax returns, making false statements to a federally insured financial institution, false representation of U.S. citizenship. She also pleaded guilty to charges of falsely using a Social Security Number with the intent to deceive and the interference with the administration of IRS laws. In addition to her prison sentence, the woman will also have to serve three years of supervision upon release and must pay back $46,000 to the IRS for restitution.

A person who is charged with a serious tax crime may be best served by retaining the services of a tax attorney who specializes in tax laws. Alternative arrangements may be available to avoid prison time with the help of an attorney.

Source: Fox 6 Springfield, "Tax Preparer out of Springfield Sentenced for Fraudulent Activities," Jan. 7, 2013

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