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Press Release

Canyon Lake Tax Preparer Sentenced for Submitting False Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

EL PASO, Texas – A Canyon Lake woman was sentenced in a federal court in El Paso to 24 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.

According to court documents, Dawn Marie Munoz, 54, operated a tax preparation business, filing IRS forms for an organization and several of its members. In preparing and submitting joint IRS Form 1040 individual income tax returns for her clients, Munoz materially underreported her clients’ income paid as stipends from the organization.

Munoz was arrested April 12, 2022 and pleaded guilty May 10, 2023 to one count of a 16-count indictment. In addition to her imprisonment, Munoz was also ordered to pay $227,197.65 to four victims.

“Munoz was an experienced tax preparer who engaged in fraudulent business practices and took advantage of the longtime clients who trusted her,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “This investigation by our law enforcement partners at FBI El Paso and IRS Criminal Investigation, along with the punishment delivered by the judge, shows that anyone who tries to undermine our tax system risks prosecution with serious penalties.”

“The defendant took advantage of her position to personally enrich herself at the expense of the citizens of El Paso,” said Special Agent in Charge John Morales for the FBI El Paso Divison. “The public can be rest assured the defendant was held accountable for the crimes she committed. The FBI thank our partners at IRS Criminal Investigation for assisting in the investigation to stop Munoz from stealing from hard working employees for her own greed.”

“Munoz lied and stole from her clients in ways that should make everyone question and double check every aspect of their tax returns this year. She prepared fraudulent returns for clients, convinced them to write checks to pay money to the IRS that they didn’t owe, stole the money, and filed false returns herself to cover her tracks,” said Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Houston Field Office. “This level of deceit, on the part of Munoz, may likely reverberate far beyond West Texas.”

The FBI and IRS CI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mallory Rasmussen prosecuted the case.


Updated February 26, 2024

Financial Fraud