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Press Release

Tax Preparer Indicted in Alleged Tax Fraud Schemes

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal grand jury in Providence on Wednesday returned a 70-count indictment alleging that Belkis M. Guzman, 47, of Cranston, a former tax preparer employed at El Centro Multiservices in Providence, participated in schemes to prepare false tax returns claiming deductions taxpayers were not entitled to and to file fraudulent tax returns using personal identifying information of others without authorization. It is alleged that the fraudulent tax returns resulted in tax refunds totaling more than $685,000, which were deposited into a bank account controlled by Guzman.

The indictment, which charges Guzman with thirty-three counts of preparing false income tax returns, eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, twenty-three counts of forgery, and one count of theft of government funds, is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Manny J. Muriel, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

It is alleged in the indictment that in one scheme, for tax years 2009, 2010, and 2011, Guzman filed at least thirty-three fraudulent tax returns by creating, inflating or falsifying her clients’ dependents, exemptions, tax credits, deductions and expenses, with and without her client’s knowledge.

In a separate scheme, the indictment alleges that Guzman participated in a scheme to use personal identifying information of others without their authorization to file fraudulent tax returns during tax years 2009, 2010, and 2011. It is alleged that tax refunds totaling $686,823.65, obtained through the filing of fraudulent tax returns were deposited into a personal checking account belonging to Guzman.

  Belkis Guzman is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Providence for arraignment on April 4, 2016. An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Prior to the return of an indictment against Belkis Guzman, an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office resulted in federal tax fraud charges to be brought against Leon F. Tejada, 51, of Providence, the operator of El Centro Multiservices. Tejada pleaded guilty on December 18, 2015, to charges of tax fraud and wire fraud.

At the time of his guilty plea, Tejada admitted to the court that during tax years 2009 through 2012, without the knowledge of his clients, he created and falsified clients’ dependents, exemptions, tax credits, deductions, and expenses in order to increase the amount of tax refund due to some of his clients. An investigation by agents from IRS Criminal Investigation and by the United States Attorney’s Office determined that the tax fraud scheme resulted in a loss to the United States of $54,440.

Tejada also admitted to the court that he also devised a scheme to divert some of his clients’ tax refunds through a bank clearing house, at which time, without the knowledge of his clients, a portion of the funds were diverted into his own bank account for his own personal use.

Tejada is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on April 5, 2016.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.

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belkis_guzman_indictment.pdf

Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

 

Updated April 7, 2016

Topics
Financial Fraud
Tax
Press Release Number: 16-24