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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Kent County Tax Preparer Sentenced To Prison

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Gonzalo Ramon Rodriguez, 59, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today.  Rodriguez pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns.  In his plea agreement, Rodriguez admitted to improperly using the electronic filing credentials of two other providers, selecting the wrong filing status for his taxpayer clients, reporting business expenses and losses that his taxpayer clients did not incur, and claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit for taxpayer clients who did not otherwise qualify.  Rodriguez stole approximately $111,504 from the United States Treasury by filing 41 false tax returns for tax years 2014 through 2018.

          United States District Judge Paul L. Maloney directed that Rodriguez pay $111,504 in restitution to the United States and ordered one year of supervised release following the 18-month prison term.  In imposing the sentence, Judge Maloney remarked on the need for specific deterrence focused on Rodriguez and general deterrence in preventing similar fraud schemes in the U.S. tax system.       

          “My office will continue to work closely with IRS criminal investigators to detect and prosecute those who steal from taxpayers by filing fraudulent federal tax returns,” said U.S. Attorney Birge.  “I strongly encourage taxpayers to obtain a copy of all tax returns prepared on their behalf to ensure that all of the return information, including income and any dependents that are listed, is correct.”  

          “This sentencing is a reminder that IRS-Criminal Investigation continues to be relentless in our mission to protect the American tax system and bring criminals who try to abuse our system for personal gain to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Sarah Kull, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office. 

          The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay M. West handled the prosecution.

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Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated November 17, 2021