A New York tax preparer has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for filing false tax returns containing fictitious and inflated tax deductions and credits.

Gloria Gaviria was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in a federal court in Manhattan. She  owned and operated a business known variously as La Riviera Enterprises, or Burbuja Tours, in which she offered tax preparation services. Starting in 1999, Gaviria became a full-time tax preparer during tax season, while working part-time at the business for the rest of the year.

She allegedly claimed deductions for fictitious or inflated gifts to charity, taxes on personal property, and job expenses, along with deductions for nonexistent gambling losses. According to prosecutors, she also falsely claimed tax credits for education and child care expenses. The fraud led to between $80,000 and $200,000 in tax losses for the government, and thousands of dollars in fees for Gaviria.

The scheme unraveled in 2008, when she prepared a fraudulent return for an undercover IRS agent, using the same tactics as in prior years.

“This is a very familiar scheme,” said IRS spokesperson Joseph Foy. “A dishonest tax preparer starts out preparing a small number of fraudulent returns and, through word-of-mouth referrals, builds the business as a go-to person for a high refund.  The fees increase with the growing clientele and the legitimate, hard-working tax preparer has difficulty competing. Our special agents are consistently investigating dishonest practices and recommending prosecution of tax preparers who willfully and knowingly violate the law.”

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access