Finney County Man Pleads Guilty To Preparing False Tax Returns
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A tax preparer from Finney County pleaded guilty Thursday to filing false federal tax returns, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said. The defendant agreed to pay restitution of more than $397,000.
Marcelino Almaraz, 60, Holcomb, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return and one count of filing a false tax return. Almaraz, who owned La Popular, a convenience store in Holcomb, also owned Accounting Services, a business that provided tax preparation and accounting services. In 2016, he was charged in an indictment alleging that customers came to him because they had heard he prepared income tax returns that generated large federal income tax refunds.
In his plea, Almaraz admitted providing false information on tax returns. In one case, he prepared a return for a client claiming four grandchildren as dependents. In fact, the grandchildren lived with the man’s wife in Mexico. In another case, Almaraz filed a false return substantially understating his own business income.
Sentencing is set for May 14. He faces a penalty of up to three years in federal prison and fine up to $250,000 on each count. McAllister commended the Internal Revenue Service, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble, John Mulcahy and Ryan Raybould of the Justice Department’s Tax Division for their work on the case.