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Press Release

Florida Tax Preparer Sentenced for False Return Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Florida tax return preparer was sentenced today to 30 months in prison, two years of supervised release and to pay $970,970 in restitution for conspiring to defraud the United States by preparing and filing false tax returns for clients. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2017 through 2020, John Borgela ran Empire Tax Services (Empire) with his co-conspirator Phedson Dore and filed hundreds of false returns each year. Borgela typically inflated tax withholdings and reported fictitious itemized deductions to generate refunds for clients to which they were not entitled. To conceal his participation in the fraud, Borgela did not list on the returns his name as the person who prepared them or include Empire’s electronic filing number (EFIN). Instead, he used his employees’ names and the EFINs of other return preparation businesses.

Borgela and his co-conspirator caused a loss to the IRS of approximately $970,000. Dore was sentenced in February to 24 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Brian Flanagan and Marissa Brodney of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Laurie for the Middle District of Florida prosecuted the case.

Updated June 17, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-769