PHOENIX – A federal grand jury in Phoenix Arizona returned a 15 count indictment against Rosario M. Hernandez, 43, of Phoenix, Arizona for violations of Aiding and Assisting in the Presentation of False and Fraudulent Individual Income Tax Returns. Hernandez was arrested on the
indictment on Friday, March 30, 2007, at a residence at 7127 W. Windsor Avenue in Phoenix, out of which she was continuing to prepare tax returns for the 2006 tax year.
The indictment alleges that Hernandez owned and operated Rosario’s Tax and Notary Service, which was located in Phoenix and later in Glendale. Hernandez prepared the allegedly fraudulent returns during the years 2003 and 2004, often overstating the taxpayer’s deductions and expenses and understating the taxpayer’s income.
This scheme involved the use of false calculations on various tax return Schedules, Form 2106 (used to calculate deductions for business expenses) and Form 1040 (used for individual tax preparation). While preparing returns, Hernandez sometimes left the preparer information blank and regularly used the alias of Zania Guzman, the name of
Hernandez’ daughter who died as an infant in 1981.
Although return preparers are encouraged to review the returns with their clients and seek receipts for expenses, it is alleged that Hernandez often neglected to review the returns or seek receipts.
According to the indictment, Hernandez claimed false itemized deductions on Schedule A in a total amount of $437,177, while the correct itemized or standard deductions on the 15 returns totaled
approximately $151,712. Hernandez also overstated business losses and under-reported income on the returns.
A conviction for Presenting False Tax Returns carries a maximum sentence of imprisonment of 3 years, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned district judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.