The operator of an Atlantic City, N.J.-based tax preparation business has pleaded guilty to filing false claims with government.
John Lopez. 48, entered his plea last week in a federal court in Camden, N.J. before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman. Lopez pleaded guilty to a one-count information that charges him with filing false claims with the government. Prosecutors contended he filed dozens of fraudulent tax returns for which his clients received over $200,000 in refunds. Sentencing is scheduled for June 22.
“Today Mr. Lopez admitted to preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns,” said Jonathan D. Larsen, special agent in charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, in a statement. “Dishonest tax preparers use a variety of methods to cheat, including falsifying information on tax returns to generate larger refunds for their clients. Criminal Investigation will continue to ensure that all tax practitioners, tax preparers and others who practice in the tax law profession adhere to professional standards and follow the law.”
According to prosecutors, Lopez operated of Rayeson Multi Service, a business that provided among other things, tax preparation services. For the tax years 2012 and 2013, he prepared and filed approximately 40 fraudulent tax returns on behalf of his clients.
Lopez allegedly falsified those returns by intentionally including fraudulent deductions on Forms W-2 which showed the clients earning wages from companies where they were not employed in order to generate false refunds. In addition, Lopez filed the fraudulent tax returns electronically using somebody else’s preparer identification number because he was ineligible to obtain his own number based on prior fraud. Based on these fraudulent returns filed with the IRS, the U.S. Treasury issued refunds to his clients totaling approximately $227,150.
Lopez faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, under Larsen’s direction and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson.
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