Dallas Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty in False Tax Return Scheme
A Dallas, Texas, area tax return preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States and to assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Erin N. Cox for the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents and information provided to the court, Mario Melendez, 29, worked as a manager and tax return preparer at Uptown Multi Services, which was a tax preparation business located in the Northern District of Texas.
From November 2013 and continuing through at least May 2014, Melendez conspired with others to prepare federal income tax returns for clients that included false education credits and Schedule C expenses as well as other fraudulent items. As the manager of Uptown, Melendez taught training classes for new return preparers during which he instructed employees how to prepare fraudulent tax returns in order to maximize client refunds. Melendez is responsible for attempting to cause a tax loss of over $3.8 million to the United States.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 5, 2019. Melendez faces a statutory maximum of eight years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Cox commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorney Alexander Effendi of the Tax Division and Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Smith, who are prosecuting this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.