Former Orange County Income Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to 21 Months in Federal Prison for Filing Fraudulent Returns
LOS ANGELES – An Orange County man who prepared tax returns for clients after falsely claiming to be a certified public accountant and a former IRS agent was sentenced this morning to serve 21 months in federal prison for preparing and filing fraudulent federal income tax returns.
Michael Raymond Martinez, 48, of Fullerton, was sentenced by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell. In addition to the prison term, Judge O’Connell ordered Martinez to pay $205,465 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Martinez – who operated his tax preparation business under the names Your Home Tax Service, Great Tax Services and Great Tax Solutions – pleaded guilty in February to one count of aiding and abetting in the preparation of a false income tax return. In marketing materials provided to clients and potential clients, Martinez claimed he could get them “The Largest Refund…Guaranteed!!!”
Martinez, who often met with clients at their homes or at public locations, admitted that he prepared and filed with the IRS at least 245 false federal income tax returns that resulted in tax losses to the United States of approximately $1,155,006.
According to a plea agreement filed in this case, from the beginning of 2009 through April 2015, Martinez had brief meetings with clients to obtain their documents and to receive his payment. Martinez typically prepared and electronically filed the tax returns, but he would not review the returns with his clients.
According to documents filed with the court, Martinez prepared and filed tax returns that claimed false deductions and expenses that his clients were not entitled to receive. The tax returns included fraudulent moving expenses, education expenses and itemized deductions. The fraudulent deductions and expenses lowered the taxpayers’ income tax liability.
In addition to the 245 fraudulent tax returns filed for clients, Martinez failed to report his own taxable income from his tax preparation business for the years 2011 and 2012, which caused a loss to the government of approximately $85,000.
This case is the product of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Rochmes and Benjamin Tompkins of the Tax Division.