A San Fernando tax preparer has pleaded guilty to charges that she filed false tax returns and stole her clients’ refund checks.

Rosa Isela Naranjo, 34, operator of Irma’s Tax Service, admitted in her plea agreement that she falsified information on her clients’ tax returns in order to generate fraudulent tax refunds and to underreport her clients’ tax liability to the IRS. 

Naranjo admitted that, from 2005 to 2008, she prepared false income tax returns claiming refunds based upon inflated deductions for medical, mortgage interest, and property tax expenses, as well as business deductions. In addition, Naranjo claimed credits for dependent care, residential energy, and education to which her clients were not entitled. Naranjo admitted filing 28 income tax returns on behalf of 16 clients fraudulently claiming more than $90,000 in refunds. 

Naranjo also admitted that she stole the tax refund payments of 10 of her clients by advising them that they did not qualify for a tax refund and showing them tax returns that did not claim a refund. Naranjo admitted that she filed tax returns on behalf of the 10 clients claiming inflated tax refunds without their knowledge. She then diverted the refund payments she received from the IRS to herself, using the proceeds to pay for her mortgage and make purchases at grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations. In total, Naranjo admitted she stole over $61,000 in checks payable to her clients, of which her clients were entitled to receive approximately $22,903 as legitimate refunds. 

When sentenced, Naranjo faces a statutory maximum of 30 years in federal prison and fines that could total more than $1 million. U.S. District Judge S. James Otero ordered Naranjo to appear for sentencing on May 17.

The investigation and prosecution of Naranjo was conducted by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division’s Los Angeles Field Office and the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

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