Former Davenport Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud
DAVENPORT, IA – – On February 24, 2016, Gregory Scott Alcala, 43, of Davenport, Iowa, appeared before the Honorable Stephen B. Jackson, Jr., and pleaded guilty to preparing and presenting a false tax return, wire fraud, and making a bomb threat in and affecting interstate commerce, announced Acting United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel.
According to the plea agreement, in about February 2010, Alcala began operating Alcala Tax Service in Davenport and prepared and filed federal tax returns on behalf of taxpayers. Beginning by at least February 18, 2012, and continuing to at least March 14, 2014, Alcala devised a scheme to defraud by filing altered tax returns. Specifically, Alcala prepared tax returns on behalf of taxpayers, provided a copy of the prepared return to the taxpayers, and then represented to the taxpayers that Alcala had filed that return with the Internal Revenue Service on the taxpayer’s behalf. In reality, Alcala did not file that version but instead—without the knowledge of and authority from the taxpayer—materially altered the taxpayer’s return to create a larger tax refund than the one reflected in the copy of the return Alcala had provided to the taxpayer. Alcala then filed the unauthorized version of the taxpayer’s return and—without the knowledge of and authority from the taxpayer—directed the additional refund amount to Alcala’s own bank account. Alcala prepared at least 164 tax returns that included false or fraudulent information and directed at least a portion of 159 of those tax refunds to his own bank account without the knowledge of or authority from the taxpayer.
Additionally, on or about December 26, 2013, a switchboard operator for Badger Mutual Insurance, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received a telephone call from Alcala in Davenport. During the call, Alcala threatened the operator by stating he was going to send her a bomb. Alcala knew his communication to the operator would be viewed as threatening.
Alcala is scheduled to be sentenced before Senior United States Judge James E. Gritzner on June 8, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at the Davenport Federal Courthouse. Preparing and presenting a false tax return is punishable for a maximum of three years imprisonment and a maximum $100,000 fine. The crime of wire fraud has a maximum prison term of 20 years and up to a $250,000 fine. Alcala faces a maximum prison term of ten years and up to a $250,000 fine for making a bomb threat in and affecting interstate commerce.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.