West Point Resident Pleads Guilty To Assisting Individuals In Filing False Tax Returns
SALT LAKE CITY – Gina D. Salayandia, age 45, of West Point, Utah, pleaded guilty this week in federal court to assisting as many as 15 individuals in filing false federal tax returns using exemptions and credits they were not legally entitled to claim. The individual returns were filed for the years 2006 through 2011.
Salayandia has been a self-employed tax return preparer since at least 1999. Her business is based in Hooper, Utah.
Salayandia, who waived indictment, was charged with one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns in a Felony Information filed in April. She pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead.
As a part of the plea agreement, Salayandia admitted that on about Jan. 21, 2011, an individual identified as M.M. in court documents approached her to prepare her 2010 tax returns. Salayandia admitted that while she was preparing M.M.’s tax return, she informed her that her tax situation would improve through exemptions and credits if she claimed certain additional dependents on her tax return. Salayandia admitted she knew that M.M. was not legally entitled to claim additional dependents. She also admitted knowing that M. M. was not entitled to claim the child tax credit for additional dependents because they were not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or residents of the United States. She admitted knowing that she assisted in preparing falsely stated tax exemptions and credits on the tax form knowing it was not legal under Internal Revenue code.
She stipulated in the plea agreement that the total tax loss in scheme is $211,600.
Sentencing in the case is set for Sept. 4, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups. The potential maximum penalty for the conviction is three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and a one-year term of supervised release.