Appleton Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Aiding and Assisting in the Filing of False Federal Income Tax Returns
Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on October 27, 2017, Gerardo “Gerry” Garcia (age: 55) of Appleton, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release. On June 16, 2017, Garcia pleaded guilty to assisting in the preparation and filing of a false federal income tax return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2). Garcia was also ordered to pay restitution of $355,088 to the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the plea agreement, Garcia, who owned the tax preparation business Garcia Enterprises LLC, admitted that he had knowingly prepared fraudulent Federal tax returns that understated his customers' tax liabilities and claimed refunds to which his customers were not entitled. During the period from April 2011 through April 2015, Garcia filed at least 44 false and fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. The fraudulent tax returns falsely claimed, among other things, ineligible dependents for customers, which resulted in inflated exemptions, child tax credits, and additional child tax credits. Garcia also claimed improper filing statuses on his customers’ tax returns.
During the sentencing hearing, United States District Court Chief Judge William C. Griesbach noted several factors affecting the sentence imposed, including the magnitude and serious nature of the of the offense and the need to send a strong message to other tax preparers who would consider similar conduct.
In rejecting Garcia’s request for a sentence of probation, Judge Griesbach stated that, “Our tax system relies upon voluntary compliance, and I agree that there is a loss of confidence in our system when somebody engages in this type of behavior, and if they were to be met with straight probation … that seems to me to be counter to the purpose of imposing a just sentence.” Judge Griesbach further stated, “This is an awful lot of money over a long, long period of time, and I think an argument can be made for a much higher sentence here. These are public funds, that you’ve deprived the government of. . . this is the kind of thing that a court should send a strong message on.”
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Monfils.
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For Additional Information Contact:
Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig - (414) 297-1700