A Los Angeles-area tax preparer has been arrested on charges of filing false claims for tax refunds.

Gabriela Sandra Ramirez-Quezada, 37, co-owner of La Gabiota Income Tax was arraigned Friday on charges of filing false claims to the U.S. before U.S. District Judge Alicia G. Rosenberg, following arrest by IRS Special Agents earlier that day.

A federal grand jury returned a 20-count indictment charging Ramirez with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., filing false claims to the U.S. and aiding and abetting. The indictment alleges that Ramirez conspired to defraud the U.S. by filing federal income tax returns containing false claims for tax refunds.

According to the indictment, Ramirez and her co-conspirator created and filed false federal Forms 4852 (Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement) and altered legitimate federal Forms W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) claiming their taxpayer clients had more federal income taxes withheld from wages than were actually withheld and sometimes also claimed false dependents on the tax returns.  

As a result of the false information filed, the IRS issued false tax refunds for which the taxpayers were not entitled.  Ramirez is alleged to have made more than $100,000 in false claims to the IRS.

According to prosecutors, Ramirez and her co-conspirator often used their home or business address on the fraudulent tax returns, causing the refund checks to be mailed to the same addresses. Sometimes the refund checks were also endorsed by Ramirez and her co-conspirator.

In addition, Ramirez and her co-conspirator allegedly failed to report the income from the tax preparation fees they received from clients to prepare their federal tax returns on their own federal income tax returns. 

If convicted, Ramirez faces up to 10 years in prison for her role in the conspiracy and five years for each false claim charge.

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