News and Press Releases

Federal Court Shuts Down Florida Tax Return Preparers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2012

A federal court in Miami has permanently barred Sharon Angulo and Claudia Zuloaga, both of Miami, from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The injunction order was signed by Judge Joan A. Lenard of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

According to the government complaint in the civil case, Angulo and Zuloaga help customers use Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Forms 1099-OID to report fictitious income tax withholding. The complaint alleges that Angulo and Zuloaga’s customers file federal tax returns claiming tax refunds based on the fake withholding. The complaint states that the defendants have prepared or assisted in the preparation of at least 19 tax returns reporting false withholding and claiming fraudulent tax refunds totaling more than $3 million.

The court ordered Angulo and Zuloaga to pay to the U.S. Treasury the funds they received from customers who paid them a percentage of the tax refunds received through the scheme. The court also ordered the defendants to provide the government with a list of all persons for whom they prepared federal tax returns or forms since 2008.

The IRS lists return preparer fraud as one of the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012. In the past decade the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained hundreds of injunctions to stop the promotion of tax-fraud schemes and the preparation of fraudulent returns. More information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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