SPRINGFIELD TAX PREPARER CHARGED WITH
PREPARING FALSE TAX RETURNS
BOSTON, Mass. - A Springfield woman was charged today in federal court with preparing false federal income tax returns.
ALICIA PEREZ, 49, was charged in an Indictment with 14 counts of aiding and abetting in the preparation of false tax returns and one count of false statements to a federally insured financial institution.
The indictment alleges that PEREZ operated a tax preparation business called Lopez Multiservice (“LMS”), which was located in Springfield, Mass. At LMS, PEREZ prepared individual federal income tax returns for various LMS customers, many of whom were native Spanish speakers who were unfamiliar with the tax laws of the United States and/or did not understand English proficiently. It is alleged that between on or about February 7, 2007 and April 9, 2008, in order to obtain greater tax refunds for her customers than they were entitled to receive, PEREZ willfully prepared numerous tax returns that she knew were fraudulent or false as to material matters. In particular, PEREZ allegedly falsified customers’ business income in order to increase the customers’ claims for the Earned Income Credit, which resulted in claims for greater tax refunds than the customers were entitled to receive. According to the indictment, in order to conceal this fraud, on occasion, PEREZ provided false documentation for her customers to submit to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and/or counseled her customers to lie to representatives of the IRS.
The indictment also alleges that on or about April 8, 2009, PEREZ provided false and fraudulent financial information to a loan officer at National City Mortgage, a division of National City Bank, which was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in connection with a residential mortgage application for a property located at 46 Rosie Lane, Agawam, Mass. This information included a 2007 tax return and a 2008 tax return that respectively stated substantially more income than the 2007 and 2008 tax returns that PEREZ had previously filed with the IRS.
Lastly, the indictment alleges that on or about June 17, 2009, PEREZ prepared an amended 2008 tax return that she knew was fraudulent or false as to material matters, in that the tax return claimed a First-Time Homebuyer Credit for the property at 46 Rosie Lane, whereas PEREZ knew that the individual had already purchased a home which he continued to own and occupy as his primary residence.
PEREZ faces up to three years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the 14 tax counts. If convicted on the false statements charge, PEREZ faces up to 30 years imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Cortez Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.