Arizona tax preparer pleads guilty to compiling false tax returns

Mar 19, 2020, 4:05 AM | Updated: May 20, 2020, 2:21 pm

PHOENIX – An Arizona tax preparer who pleaded guilty for preparing fraudulent returns was sentenced to a year behind bars.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich and the Arizona Department of Revenue said tax preparer Roberto De La O prepared around 118 fraudulent tax returns from 2014 to 2017.

He pleaded guilty to fraudulent schemes and artifices and two counts of preparing false tax returns, according to a release.

On each return, he included a W-2 or 1099-Miscellaneous form for Red Home Investments which included Arizona and federal income tax withholding, ultimately increasing refunds for taxpayers.

Upon investigation by ADOR, it was discovered that De La O was the only member of Red Home Investments. De La O admitted he never sent in the listed withholdings that the forms indicated.

De La O was sentenced to one year in jail to be followed by seven years of probation, the attorney general’s office announced May 20.

He also must pay an $18,000 fine plus $46,053 in restitution to ADOR.

ADOR recommends that taxpayers pay attention when they file their returns and watch out for tax preparers who promise unusually large refunds, charge a percentage of your refund instead of a flat fee or say things that might sound too good to be true.

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Arizona tax preparer pleads guilty to compiling false tax returns