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Press Release

Lakewood Tax Return Preparer Sentenced for Preparing False Tax Returns

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

DENVER – Hieu Mattison, age 53, of Lakewood, Colorado was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve 21 months in prison for preparing and filing false federal income tax returns, Acting United States Attorney Bob Troyer and IRS – Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steven Osborne announced. Following his prison sentence, Mattison was ordered to serve 1 year on supervised release. Judge Krieger also ordered Mattison to pay $133,544 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. As a special condition of supervised release, Chief Judge Krieger ordered that the defendant cannot be involved in the tax preparation business.


According to the indictment and plea agreement, Mattison was the owner and primary tax return preparer of AAAE Financial, Inc. (AAAE) in Lakewood, Colorado. Between 2008 and 2012, Mattison prepared federal income tax returns in which he added false income items, such as W-2 wages, household help (HSH) income, and/or false Schedule C business income to his mostly low-income clients’ tax returns. The false items increased various tax credits and resulted in false refunds. On occasion, Mattison added false education credits instead of false income. While he had four employees at AAAE, Mattison reviewed all tax returns before they were transmitted to the IRS.


Most of the generated refunds were direct deposited into a business bank account controlled by Mattison. After the refund was deposited into the account, the client would usually pick up the refund in cash, less Mattison’s preparation fee. When an undercover agent posed as a client at AAAE, Mattison added $6,002 in false HSH income, as well as educational expenses that Mattison and the undercover agent had not discussed. Mattison filed 34 false tax returns for 16 individuals for the tax years 2008 through 2012 for a total tax loss amount of $133,544.


“Prison is the fitting end for a tax preparer in a position of trust who preyed on the poor to steal money from the government,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.


"Return Preparer fraud is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation and we have committed many resources to investigating and prosecuting cases just like these," said Steven Osborne, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. "It is our hope that today's sentence sends the strong message that tampering with the integrity of our nation's tax system will result in jail time."


This case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Chief of the Economic Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division, Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Paluch.

Updated May 25, 2017