Tax Return Preparer Sentenced To Federal Prison For More Than $1 Million In Tax Fraud
Orlando, Florida - Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp sentenced Obnes Latigue (51, Orlando) yesterday to 13 months in federal prison for aiding in the preparation of false tax returns. As part of his sentence, Latigue was also ordered to pay $1,129,418 to the Internal Revenue Service in restitution and to serve one year of supervised release. Latigue pleaded guilty on May 23, 2013.
According to his plea agreement, Latigue was the owner of a tax return business called Tax Winners Enterprises, Inc. For tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008, Latigue prepared returns for individuals in which he falsified the amounts of deductions and tax credits owed to taxpayers, which resulted in those taxpayers receiving undeserved tax refunds. In particular, Latigue fraudulently claimed education credits for clients who never attended college. He also inflated itemized deductions. In response to the false returns that Latigue prepared, the Internal Revenue Service issued more than $1.1 million in undeserved refunds, which is the amount that Latigue was ordered to pay in restitution.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.