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Press Release

Tax Preparer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Preparing False Federal Income Tax Return

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Frances Rivas, 42, formerly of Albuquerque but currently a resident of Amarillo, Texas, was sentenced this morning to 18 months in federal prison followed by a year of supervised release for her conviction for preparing a false federal income tax return.  Rivas also was ordered to pay $98,296.00 in restitution to the IRS and the other victims of her criminal conduct.  Rivas’ sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Gabriel L. Grchan, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation.

Rivas pled guilty in Nov. 2012 to Count 16 of a 25-count indictment alleging that she prepared and presented false federal income tax returns.  In entering her guilty plea, Rivas admitted that between Jan. 2008 and April 2011, she willfully prepared and presented to the IRS federal tax returns that she knew to be materially false and fraudulent.  Rivas further admitted that she altered the tax return information provided by her clients by altering the clients’ filing status, number of defendants, exemptions or W-2 wage information to increase the federal tax refund generated by the return.  Rivas unlawfully caused at least $98,396.00 in tax harm as a result of her fraudulent activity.

Rivas was ordered to surrender to a federal correctional institution to be designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prison within 60 days to begin serving her prison sentence.

The case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Pena.

Updated January 26, 2015