Scottsdale Tax Preparer Indicted for Keeping Clients Refunds

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Victor Paul Vasquez, 38, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was arrested yesterday on a warrant arising out of a 3-count federal indictment. Vasquez is charged with Conversion of Government Property in the indictment returned on March 3, 2009, by a federal grand jury. He remains in custody pending a detention hearing in federal court.

The indictment alleges that on three occasions in 2006 and 2007, Vasquez arranged to have tax refunds for his clients deposited into a bank account controlled by Vasquez instead of into the clients’ accounts. A tax refund remains the property of the federal government until it reaches the taxpayer. Each refund stolen by Vasquez exceeded $4000.

A conviction for Conversion of Government Property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt 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.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The prosecution is being handled by Gary M. Restaino, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-081(Vasquez)

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