The operator of an Atlantic City, NJ-based tax preparation business pleaded guilty today to filing false claims with government.
John Lopez. 48, a resident of Atlantic City, NJ, entered his plea in Camden federal court before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman. Lopez pleaded guilty to a one count information that charges him with filing false claims with the government. Sentencing is scheduled for June 22, 2016.
“Today Mr. Lopez admitted to preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns,” stated Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office. “Dishonest tax preparers use a variety of methods to cheat, including falsifying information on tax returns to generate larger refunds for their clients. Criminal Investigation will continue to ensure that all tax practitioners, tax preparers and others who practice in the tax law profession adhere to professional standards and follow the law.”
According to court documents and statements made in court:
Lopez was the operator of Rayeson Multi Service, a business that provided among other things, tax preparation services. For the tax years 2012 and 2013, Lopez prepared and filed approximately 40 fraudulent tax returns on behalf of his clients. Lopez falsified those returns by intentionally including fraudulent deductions on Forms W-2 which showed the clients earning wages from companies where they were not employed in order to generate false refunds. In addition, Lopez filed the fraudulent tax returns electronically using somebody else’s preparer identification number because he was ineligible to obtain his own number based on prior fraud. Based on these fraudulent returns filed with the IRS, the U.S. Treasury issued refunds to his clients in the amount of approximately $227,150.
The count of filing a false claim with the government carries a statutory maximum prison sentence of five years and a statutory maximum fine equal to the greatest of: (1) $250,000; (2) twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain derived from the offense; or (3) twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense.
The investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson.