BOISE – After a four-day trial, a federal jury found Boise tax return preparer Andres Sanchez, 33, guilty of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of six false or fraudulent tax returns on behalf of several clients, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today. Senior U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill presided over the trial which began on February 13 and concluded with six guilty verdicts on February 17. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on one remaining count.
During the trial, the jury heard evidence that Sanchez worked as a paid tax return preparer in Boise. For tax returns filed for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016, Sanchez counseled his clients to include ineligible dependents on their tax returns to increase tax refunds. The ineligible dependents resulted in dependency exemptions and refundable tax credits for Sanchez’s clients, including the child tax credit, additional child tax credit, and earned income credit. The ineligible dependents resulted in significant refunds in many cases where Sanchez’s clients would have otherwise owed taxes.
“Tax fraud is an affront to all taxpayers who comply with the law,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “We will aggressively pursue those who submit false tax returns or who unlawfully evade their tax obligations in other ways. This case is a reminder of our dedication to this mission. It is also a reminder to the public to be cautious when choosing a tax preparer. If something seems too good to be true, it often is.”
“Over the past three years, investigations led by IRS-CI special agents have resulted in more than 300 return preparers being sentenced for filing false tax returns,” said Andy Tsui, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office. “Return preparer fraud will remain a top priority for us and today’s verdict should serve as a reminder to tax preparers that filing false returns will lead to significant fines and prison.”
Sanchez faces a maximum of three years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each false tax return. Sentencing is scheduled for May 16, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the investigative work of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation in this case.