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Tax return preparer sentenced to prison

A Nevada, tax return preparer was sentenced Nov. 14 to 37 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

According to documents and information provided to the court, from 2009 through 2015, Ofelia Ronquillo prepared false income tax returns for clients of her business, A.R. Financial LLC and later AJRC Tax Services, in Las Vegas, Nevada, the department said.

Ronquillo included multiple false items on her clients’ tax returns, including charitable contributions, capital loss deductions, energy tax credits, and unreimbursed employee expenses—such as business meals and transportation expenses, the department said. As a result, the returns reported that the clients owed thousands of dollars less in taxes than they would have owed without the false deductions and credits, the department added.

As part of the plea agreement, Ronquillo admitted that the total tax loss resulting from her preparation and filing of false returns was more than $2.7 million.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Gordon ordered Ronquillo to serve one year of supervised release and to pay restitution of $16,290.93.

“The Department of Justice will continue to hold tax return preparers, who willfully prepare and file fraudulent returns, accountable and to protect the United States Treasury from false refund claims,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman said in a statement.

Ronquillo is from Las Vegas.

“Tax return preparers, who purposely prepare false tax returns to get high refunds are stealing directly from American taxpayers,” said Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan with IRS-CI. “Return preparer fraud is one of the top priorities for IRS-Criminal Investigation, and we will investigate these cases and prosecute those who steal from the American public.”

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Elieson commended special agents of Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Thomas W. Flynn and Eric C. Schmale of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

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