Los Angeles, CA – LAWFUEL – News Release Service – US District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins sentenced Juana Diaz to serve 12 months and one day in federal prison this afternoon. The sentence follows Diaz’s guilty plea to conspiracy on November 8, 2005 under a negotiated agreement.
During the years 1998-2000, Diaz operated as Regis Tax Service and conspired with others in a scheme devised to obstruct the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service by preparing and filing false federal income tax returns.
Regis Tax Service catered specifically to low-income clientele. They prepared and filed tax returns on behalf of clients falsely claiming Head of Household status so that the clients would qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EIC. Co-defendant Gabriel Turiel prepared and filed false Form 1099 income statements in the names of some of their clients in order to maximize the EIC by reporting false Schedule C business income on their returns. Juana Diaz herself prepared fraudulent tax returns for clients and as a result of the conspiracy caused loss to the government of some $72,768.
“Fraudulent refund schemes are epidemic in large urban areas like Los Angeles,” explained Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation is dedicated to rigorous pursuit of the perpetrators of these schemes. The efforts of IRS Special Agents will continue to focus on protecting our tax system and the interests of hard-working taxpayers throughout the country.”
In addition to the prison term, Judge Collins ordered Diaz to pay $12,971 restitution to the IRS and to serve two years supervised release following completion of the sentence term. Today’s judgment is a result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division.