Husband And Wife Tax Preparers Indicted For Conspiracy To Prepare False Federal Income Tax Returns
RENO, Nev. – Two tax return preparers were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to defraud the United States and preparing false federal income tax returns, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada.
Thomas Michael Bidegary, 66, and Ginger A. Bidegary, 56, both of Winnemucca, Nev., are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. In addition, Thomas is charged with seven counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns, and Ginger is charged with three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns.
According to the indictment, Thomas Bidegary is a former IRS employee who operated Winnemucca Tax and Bookkeeping Service, a tax preparation business, located in Winnemucca, Nevada. He and his wife, Ginger, were involved in the preparation of federal income tax returns. As alleged, the Bidegary’s conspired with each other to prepare and file false and fraudulent individual income tax returns. Beginning in at least 2009 and continuing through 2014, the Bidegary’s advised clients that by making small monetary “investments” into various businesses the Bidegary’s owned, the clients could decrease their annual taxable income and increase their tax refunds. As part of the scheme, in instances when clients provided “investment” funds, the Bidegary’s would prepare false tax forms for the corresponding tax year that included large fictitious business losses in order to reduce the client’s taxable income and obtain a larger refund than what the client was entitled to receive.
If convicted, the Bidegary’s face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy and three years for each count of preparing false tax returns. They also face a term of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
The case is being investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla Higginbotham.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.