Federal Court Permanently Bars California-Based Tax Preparer from Preparing Federal Tax Returns
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has permanently barred Stacy John Sanchez of Orange County, California, from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.
The civil injunction order prohibits Sanchez from acting as a federal tax return preparer and from owning, operating, or profiting from tax-return preparation businesses. Sanchez agreed to the entry of the injunction but did not admit the allegations in the civil complaint against him.
According to the complaint, Sanchez owned and operated 12 Liberty Tax Service franchise locations, primarily in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas. At these locations, Sanchez and his employees prepared federal income tax returns that, among other things, contained bogus Schedules C (Profit or Loss From Business), fake Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) information and falsely claimed dependents, the suit alleged. These fraudulent returns improperly generated federal income tax refunds and tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Credit, for Sanchez’s clients, according to the complaint.
In addition, the complaint alleged that Sanchez and his employees prepared fraudulent income tax returns using stolen names and social security numbers and kept the bogus refunds generated by these identity theft returns. The estimated loss to the U.S. Treasury from Sanchez and his employees’ misconduct is at least $14 million, according to the complaint.
Return preparer fraud is one of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2016. The IRS has some tips on its website for choosing a tax preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers. In the past decade, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers and tax scheme promoters. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.