You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Laredo Tax Return Preparer Indicted

LAREDO, Texas – The owner of Premier Fastax in Laredo and Rio Bravo has been taken into custody on charges of tax fraud, announced U.S. Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge Rick Goss of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). Maria Elena Ramirez is charged in a 23-count indictment alleging she assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, filed false tax returns and obstructing the Internal Revenue Code.

The indictment was returned under seal Aug. 18, 2015, and unsealed upon her arrest today. She is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo Garcia tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

The Indictment alleges Ramirez falsified employment and income on her client’s tax returns so that they qualified for tax credits and refund checks they otherwise could not have obtained. Ramirez also allegedly falsified her own tax returns by understating her business income and taxable income. According to the indictment, Ramirez also attempted to obstruct the IRS investigation by filing false supporting documentation with the IRS and by instructing some of her clients to lie to IRS agents who were investigating her.    

Ramirez faces up the three years in federal prison if convicted of any of the charges as well as a possible $100,000 fine.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by IRS - CI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Johnson is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Updated February 4, 2016