Last month Roberto De La O pleaded guilty to Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices and two counts of Preparing a False Tax Returns for fraudulently preparing around 118 tax returns for 2014-2017. To increase the taxpayer’s refunds, he’d included fake W-2s or 1099-Miscellaneous for Red Home Investments that included Arizona and federal income tax withholdings
The Arizona Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Unit found De La O was the only employee for Red Home Investments which had never paid the wages or withholdings found on the fake W-2s and 1099-Miscellaneous.
De La O faces up to 2.5 years in prison, seven years on probation and an $18,000 fine. He’ll also have to pay $50,000 to the taxpayers to reimburse costs to amend their returns and to cover accrued interest on corrected taxes due. Sentencing is scheduled for May 15, 2020.
Taxpayers should carefully review their prepared tax returns, schedules and income reporting forms before filing and be wary of any tax preparers offering large refunds or charge a percentage of the refund rather than a flat fee. For more information on best practices when hiring a tax preparer, click here.
Consult with a tax adviser with any questions you may have.