Former RI Tax Preparer Sentenced to 36 Months in Prison for Tax Prep Fraud

Friday, December 02, 2016

 

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A former Rhode Island tax return preparer has been sentenced to prison for tax preparation fraud scheme and aggravated identity theft. 

Belkin Guzman, 48, was sentenced to 36 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, wire fraud, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft, according to Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo

Guzman was a former employee of El Centro Multiservicios LLC, a tax preparation business that is located in Providence. he was involved in two separate schemes. 

The first scheme involved the preparation and presentation of false individual income tax returns (Forms 1040) on behalf of El Centro clients for tax years 2009, 2010, and 2011, on which Guzman created, inflated and falsified dependents, exemptions, credits, deductions, and expenses.

The second scheme involved the deposit of over 100 U.S. Treasury checks into Guzman’s personal checking account. The Treasury checks were generated by the filing of fraudulent individual income tax returns containing stolen personal identifying information and fraudulent amounts of income, deductions, and credits.  Guzman helped the scheme by depositing more than $800,700 in fraudulently obtained refund checks into her bank account after signing many of the checks in place of the payees who were unknown to her, and then providing a majority of the proceeds to a third party in the form of cash and personal checks.

Guzman received a percentage as payment for depositing the checks into her account.

Pleading Guilty 

Guzman previously pleaded guilty on September 8 to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, wire fraud, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. 

In addition to the prison term imposed, Guzman was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $928,224.95 in restitution to the IRS. 

 
 

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