A recent sentence of 61 months in prison and $400,000 in restitution for a Massachusetts tax preparer sends a strong message that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice are cracking down on identity theft and tax fraud. The criminal tax charges and stiff sentence for a return preparer case with a $400,000 tax loss demonstrates just how aggressively the IRS is pursuing these types of cases.
In August 2012, Rosa Ivette Colon pleaded guilty to a 32-count indictment charging her with aggravated identity theft, filing false claims with the IRS and forging endorsements on United States Treasury checks. She was sentence in January 2013 by District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
Colon operated a business called X-Press Taxes in Somerville, Mass. During the tax years 2004 through 2010, Colon prepared hundreds of false income tax returns for her clients. On numerous occasions, when preparing income tax returns for clients, Colon prepared two different versions of the return. Colon gave one version of the return to the client, but filed another version seeking a larger refund with the IRS, and kept the additional fraudulent amount for herself. In addition, Colon submitted false personal income tax returns to the IRS on her own behalf. Colon claimed fraudulent refunds by attaching bogus W-2 forms claiming nonexistent wages and withholdings.
Additionally, Colon unlawfully used the identities of three individuals in connection with her fraudulent tax refund scheme. In two instances, she filed tax returns in individuals’ names without their knowledge, and in one instance, she claimed a client’s two-year old child as a dependent on another client’s tax return, charging $1,000 for this service. Read full press release.