A Corona tax preparer accused of filing fraudulent returns over a five-year span was free on bond Wednesday.
Salvador Gonzalez was arrested by federal agents Tuesday on a 47-count grand jury indictment alleging that he aided and assisted in the preparation of false tax returns.
Gonzalez pleaded not guilty during an arraignment at U.S. District Court in downtown Riverside. He was released from custody after posting a $35,000 bond.
Trial is tentatively set for May 9.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendant operated Grace’s Lighthouse Resource Center Inc., and from 2016 to 2021, he allegedly “prepared income tax returns for individuals and corporate clients to submit to the IRS that claimed tens of thousands of dollars in bogus business losses.”
“Gonzalez also allegedly falsified additional deductions on client returns, including medical and dental expenses, unreimbursed employee expenses and charitable contributions, knowing that the clients were not entitled to the amounts claimed,” the agency stated.
Each count in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison, making Gonzalez eligible for a potential sentence of 140 years behind bars, if he’s convicted. Prosecutors pointed out that sentencing guidelines and other factors would be considered prior to determining the appropriate sentence upon conviction.
The case was investigated by the IRS.