The Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation division has cracked down on a Southern California tax preparer accused of stealing his clients refunds.
Ernesto Jesus Suarez admitted to preparing hundreds of tax returns, including his own, claiming inaccurate and false items on his client's returns. Suarez filed the false tax returns to increase refunds, collecting over $1.4 million of stolen refunds from the IRS.
Suarez would meet his clients at their homes and prepare an accurate income tax return on his laptop. If the client was due a refund, Suarez would give the client a check from his personal account and tell them he was going to file the return.
Later, Suarez would prepare a false tax return, including fake items such as false spouses, dependents, and education expenses, in order to increase the refund amount. He would then forge the clients signature and would file the return directing the refunds to 1 of 29 different bank accounts he controlled.
As part of his plea agreement he and his spouse are barred for life from preparing tax returns. He faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison, along with a one-year period of supervised release; a fine of $500,000, and a mandatory assessment of $200.