Dallas Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing False Tax Returns
A tax return preparer operating in Irving, Texas, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States and to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents and information provided to the court, Francisco Ventura owned and operated several tax preparation businesses located in Irving from at least 2012 through at least 2015. During 2014, Ventura ran a tax return preparation business named AJJ Tax and More, along with a second preparation business named Uptown Multi Services, which he co-owned with his co-defendant Mario Melendez.
From November 2013 and continuing through May 2014, Ventura conspired with Melendez and others to prepare fraudulent federal income tax returns, and he personally prepared individual income tax returns for clients that included false education credits and Schedule C expenses. Ventura also taught training classes for new tax return preparers during which he instructed employees how to prepare fraudulent tax returns in order to maximize client refunds. Ventura is responsible for attempting to cause over $8.3 million of tax loss to the United States.
Sentencing for Ventura is scheduled for June 14, 2019. Ventura faces a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and three years in prison for the aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return count, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. Melendez pleaded guilty in November 2018 to conspiring to defraud the United States and to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, and is awaiting sentencing.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Nealy 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.