LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A Whittier tax preparer has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for conspiring with her daughter to file bogus income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining refunds.
Inez Garcia, 50, was sentenced Friday by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson, who also ordered the defendant to pay $192,000 in restitution to the United States.
Inez Garcia, her daughter and a third person in the scheme each pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiring to defraud the United States. The three worked together, using information that Inez Garcia had collected as a tax preparer, to file tax returns that sought refunds from the government.
Inez Garcia was the final defendant sentenced in the case. Her daughter, Diane Garcia, 31 of Whittier, a former member of the California Army National Guard who was brought home from Iraq to face the charges in this case, was sentenced by Judge Pregerson in September to three years of probation, which will include six months of home detention for her role in the scheme.
The third defendant in the case, Jose Gonzalez, 42, of La Habra, was sentenced in September to 10 months in prison and was ordered to pay $192,380 in restitution. Gonzalez worked at a liquor store in La Habra and cashed the United States Treasury checks that the Garcias fraudulently obtained. In return, the Garcias paid Gonzalez a commission.
Judge Pregerson found that Inez Garcia was the leader of the scheme that used fraudulently obtained names and social security numbers to prepare the bogus tax returns and obtain refund checks from the the United States Treasury. Judge Pregerson also ordered Inez Garcia to stop preparing tax returns while she is in prison and for three years while she is on supervised release.
This case is the result of an investigation by IRS – Criminal Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Robert F. Conte
Assistant United States Attorney Evan Davis
Release No. 07-152