A Fullerton tax preparer who posed as a former Internal Revenue Service agent faces a possible federal prison sentence Wednesday for attempting to defraud the IRS by filing hundreds of bogus returns claiming more than $1.1 million in refunds.
Michael Raymond Martinez, 48, pleaded guilty in February before U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to one federal count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false tax return. He faces a sentence of up to three years in federal prison and a restitution order.
Martinez, who often met with clients at their homes or other non- administrative locations, operated under the names Your Home Tax Service, Great Tax Services and Great Tax Solutions. According to his plea agreement, from at least the beginning of 2009 until April 2015, Martinez prepared and filed with the IRS at least 245 false federal income tax returns that resulted in tax losses to the United States of over $1.1 million.
Prosecutors said Martinez falsely claimed to be a certified public account and a former IRS agent in order to gain credibility with clients and potential clients. His meetings with clients typically lasted only a few minutes, in which he received clients’ income documents, taxpayer questionnaires and documents pertaining to interest and expenses.
Martinez also took payment during the meetings, but he would not review the returns with his clients.
In addition to the 245 fraudulent returns filed for clients, Martinez failed to report taxable income from his tax preparation business for the tax years 2011 and 2012 in the amounts of $162,479 and $111,000, respectively. The failure to report income for these two years created an additional loss to the government for 2011 and 2012 of $52,884 and $33,842, respectively.
—City News Service
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