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Somerville woman convicted of tax crimes

A Somerville woman who owned a tax preparation business for about six years was sentenced on Jan. 29 to 61 months in prison. She has been convicted of identity theft and tax fraud following a string of tax crimes.

According to the District of Massachusetts United States Attorney's office, the woman prepared false tax returns on her behalf and the behalf of the clients of her Somerville business. In some instances, she used clients' identities without their consent or knowledge. She pleaded guilty to 32 counts, including charges for aggravated identity theft, filing false returns with the Internal Revenue Service and forging United States Treasury check endorsements.

According to the press release from the United States Attorney's office, the government lost revenues between $400,000 and $1 million that it was owed in unpaid taxes due to the activities of the 44 year-old woman from Milford. She is required to pay restitution in the amount of $400,000 to the IRS.

Not all taxes filed incorrectly are considered to be a tax crime by the IRS. In some cases, a person may make a mistake on a return that affects the amount of taxes that he or she pays. However, an individual may be able to correct this mistake without the threat of criminal prosecution. A tax attorney may be able to help a person who has been charged with a tax crime or who is currently under investigation. He or she may be able to work out an agreement with the government that does not involve any jail time and assist his or her client by presenting any relevant defenses to the claim.

Source: Somerville Patch, "Somerville Tax Preparer Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison," Chris Orchard, Jan. 30, 2013

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