San Fernando Tax Return Preparer Faces Federal Prison for Filing False IRS Returns & Stealing Checks

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Los Angeles – Appearing before United States District Judge S. James Otero, a San Fernando tax return preparer pleaded guilty this afternoon to charges that she filed false federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and stole refund checks payable to her clients.

Rosa Isela Naranjo, 34, of San Fernando, 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 under report her clients’ tax liability to the IRS.

Beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2008, Naranjo prepared false income tax returns claiming refunds based upon inflated deductions for medical, mortgage interest, and property tax expenses as well as business deductions. Additionally, 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 sixteen clients fraudulently claiming more than $90,000 in refunds.

Naranjo also admitted that, with respect to ten of her clients, she stole their tax refund payments 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 these ten 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 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 30 years in federal prison and fines totaling $1,000,000 or more. Judge Otero ordered Naranjo to appear for sentencing on May 17, 2010.

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

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