A California tax preparer could be sentenced to up to 143 years in prison after she was charged with preparing false tax returns, including one that claimed 19 dependents had been born to her on the same day.
Norma Coronel, 40, was charged in a 35-count indictment by prosecutors earlier this year, and was ordered to be further detained at the end of a hearing on her case Monday.
The charges arose from allegations that Coronel filed tax returns in the names of third parties listing, among other things, false dependents. According to prosecutors, the government determined from Social Security Administration records that Coronel had obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers for at least 19 children used to claim false dependents on the tax returns. Coronel claimed, on separate applications, that the children had been born to her at Good Samaritan Hospital on Dec. 11, 2002. However, according to the hospital’s records, she gave birth to a single child, a son, on that date.
Coronel, who had been living in Los Angeles at the time the fraudulent returns were filed, was arrested in Livermore, Calif., on July 12, 2011 and detained pending her appearance in the Central District of California court.
If convicted of all of the charges in the indictment, she faces up to 143 years in prison and fines totaling $5.6 million.
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