News and Press Releases

Okeechobee Woman Sentenced for Preparation and Presentation of False Tax Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2013

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

Garcia was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham in Fort Pierce to 18 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release and a special assessment of $100. In addition, the Court ordered Garcia to pay restitution to the Government for tax losses of $534,946. The Court also noted that Garcia is permanently enjoined by a Consent Judgment and Order filed in a parallel civil case, barring her in the future from ever preparing federal income tax returns for other persons.

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 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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