News and Press Releases

Okeechobee Woman Pleads Guilty to Preparation and Presentation of False Tax Returns

September 12, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. De Palma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that defendant Maria Garcia, 33, of Okeechobee County, pled guilty today to charges of aiding and assisting the preparation and presentation of false tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2).

Sentencing is scheduled for December 16, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Donald Graham in Fort Pierce, Florida. At sentencing, Garcia faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to three (3) years in prison.

According to statements made in open court and documents filed in the case, Garcia prepared multiple fraudulent tax returns for customers from January 2008 through May 2013, first while working for other tax preparers and then in her own tax preparation business. She prepared the returns, supplied false income and deduction figures, failed to review them in detail with the taxpayers, and then electronically filed them for those taxpayers.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

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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 Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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