Preparer Operating in Montebello, Calif., Allegedly Filed False Tax Returns for Customers

WASHINGTON – 24 September 2011 – A federal court in Los Angeles has permanently barred Mario Placencia from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order, to which Placencia consented, was signed by Judge Dale S. Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The court also required Placencia to contact customers who have paid him to prepare returns since Jan.1, 2003, and inform them of his consenting to the injunction.

According to the government complaint, Placencia, of Alhambra, Calif., conducted business in Montebello, Calif., under the name MP Accounting Services. The government alleged that Placencia prepared federal income tax returns that contained false or inflated expenses on various schedules and fabricated false reports of his customers’ home-mortgage-interest payments.

According to the complaint, in April 2011 Placencia was indicted on 61 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false income tax returns, as well as one count of corruptly obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws. The complaint states that Placencia entered a guilty plea as to three of the counts in July 2011 and admitted in the plea agreement that, for tax years 2003 through 2009, he caused the government to incur a tax loss of nearly $8 million by intentionally inflating amounts of home mortgage interest on his customers’ returns.

Return preparer fraud is identified by the IRS as one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams taxpayers are urged to avoid. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop the promotion of tax fraud schemes and the preparation of fraudulent returns. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.

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