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Press Release

High Desert Resident Who Claimed to be a Licensed CPA Convicted in Tax Scheme that Collected over $1 Million in Fraudulent Refunds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

          LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County tax preparer was found guilty late Thursday of filing false and fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service as part of a scheme that illegally generated more than $1 million in refunds.

          Scott Douglas Cutting Sr., 69, of Apple Valley, was found guilty by a federal jury at the conclusion of a three-day trial. Following about two hours of deliberations, the jury convicted Cutting of six felony counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns.

          Cutting, who portrayed himself as a CPA despite his license expiring in 1989, prepared and filed tax returns and then had the refunds directly deposited into his own bank accounts. The evidence presented at trial showed that Cutting kept hundreds or thousands of dollars from each fraudulent tax return he filed, often giving clients nothing or only a small portion of the refund.

          Cutting filed on behalf of low- or no-income individuals income tax returns that falsely claimed income or credits to fraudulently create a tax refund. Cutting electronically filed the returns, but he did not identify himself as the preparer of the tax returns. Cutting often filed tax returns for people when he had no authority to do so, using their names and Social Security numbers, as well as the names and Social Security numbers of their dependents, without their permission.

          The investigation in this case revealed that, from 2008 to 2012, Cutting prepared and filed approximately 314 false or fraudulent tax returns, and the IRS issued approximately $1.09 million in refunds.

          In addition the six guilty verdicts returned on Thursday, the jury acquitted Cutting of one count.

          Cutting is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu on June 27. As a result of the guilty verdicts, Cutting faces a statutory maximum sentence of 18 years in federal prison.

          The investigation of Cutting was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation.

          The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Veronica M.A. Alegría and Bryant Y. Yang of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.


Thom Mrozek
Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer
United States Attorney’s Office
Central District of California (Los Angeles)
(213) 894-6947

Updated April 26, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-082