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Press Release

Unlicensed Vancouver, Washington, tax preparer pleads guilty to aiding and assisting with preparing false tax returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Misled immigrant taxpayers – tax loss over $1 million

Seattle – The owner of a Vancouver, Washington business that sought to assist immigrants with a variety of services has pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Saul Valdez was an unlicensed tax preparer who led his immigrant customers to believe he was filling out their tax forms correctly. Instead, from 2016 through 2018, Valdez inserted a variety of false deductions and expenses on tax returns, lowering the customers’ tax obligations. Valdez faces up to three years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on August 28, 2023.

“Mr. Valdez operated a business providing services to primarily non-English speaking clients, who had little understanding of the U.S. tax system,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “Rather than truly assist them, his false deductions, expenses and credits put them at risk of owing back taxes and penalties, not to mention the stress of contact from the IRS.”   

According to the plea agreement, Valdez operated Conexion Latina, and used programs such as TaxAct and TurboTax to prepare clients’ taxes. For tax year 2017, Valdez admits claiming false and fraudulent expenses, donations, and credits on 36 different tax returns. The tax loss on those 36 returns is $54,045.  That is the amount of restitution Valdez has agreed to pay.

Using statistical sampling of 50 of some 2000 returns prepared by Valdez from 2016 through 2018, Valdez admits that the total tax loss for his fraud is $1,293,921.

Aiding and Assisting in the Preparation and Presentation of a False and Fraudulent Return is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Prosecutors have agreed to cap their sentencing recommendation at 30 months in prison.

The case is being investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kristine Foerster.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated April 24, 2023