Virginia Beach Tax Preparer Indicted for Preparing Fraudulent Returns
NORFOLK, Va. – Ferdinand Mendoza, age 43, of Virginia Beach, VA, was indicted by a Norfolk federal grand jury on January 20, 2011 on twenty-two counts of preparing false and fraudulent tax returns for others. The indictment had remained under seal until Mendoza could be arrested and make his first court appearance.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andre Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, made the announcement after Mendoza’s initial appearance in court. If convicted, Mendoza faces a maximum penalty of 66 years in prison and a fine of $2,200,000.
According to the indictment, Mendoza operated a part-time tax preparation business from his Virginia Beach residence. From 2002 through 2008, Mendoza prepared thousands of federal and state individual income tax returns for clients using his services. In preparing the 22 federal individual income tax returns identified in the indictment, Mendoza allegedly overstated and falsified his clients’ itemized deductions for items such as medical expenses, unreimbursed employee expenses, investment expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses. By itemizing these false deductions, Mendoza allegedly reduced his clients’ federal tax obligations and enabled most of them to receive substantial tax refunds which they were not entitled to receive. As a result, the United States suffered losses.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Krask is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.