SANTA ANA – An Orange man has been permanently banned from preparing tax returns for others after he admitted to a fraud scheme that netted him at least $1.4 million in bogus tax refunds from hundreds of clients he exploited for profit, federal authorities said.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney on Tuesday signed a civil injunction that prohibits Ernesto Jesus Suarez, 61, from ever preparing tax returns or representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service. Suarez pleaded guilty to the fraud scheme in February, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Suarez would meet clients at their homes and prepare a largely accurate income tax return on his laptop, according to an IRS news release.
If the client was due a refund, Suarez would cut the client a check from his personal checking account in the amount stated on the accurate return and misrepresent to the client that he would file the accurate return with the IRS.
Suarez later would file false returns by forging the signature of the taxpayers, and then mail the false tax returns to the IRS. He then would direct the inflated refunds to be deposited into 29 different bank accounts that he controlled, according to the IRS.
The bogus returns Suarez prepared for more than 500 clients contained items such as false spouses for unmarried taxpayer-clients, false dependents, false dependent care expenses, false education expenses and various credits to which his clients were not entitled, including the earned income credit, additional child tax credit and residential energy credit, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Suarez also admitted that, on his own return, he claimed a spouse to whom he was not married, claimed dependents that were not his own, and failed to report his true income from his tax preparation business, including the false-return scheme.
Federal authorities said Suarez received stolen tax refunds for his clients during the 2005 through 2009 tax years that were not reported on his own income tax returns in the amount of at least $1,469,115.33.
At his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson on Oct. 15, Suarez faces a combined maximum sentence of six years in prison, a one-year period of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greatest, and a mandatory special assessment of $200.
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Article source: http://www.ocregister.com/news/tax-359809-suarez-clients.html