LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An Orange County tax preparer pleaded guilty Wednesday to submitting nearly 400 phony income tax returns that inflated his clients' refunds without their knowledge, and then pocketing the difference between the true refunds and the inflated ones.
Raudel Sandoval, 48, of Placentia, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to two federal counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Sandoval, a licensed tax preparer, owns RSE Sandoval España Inc., a Downey-based tax preparation company. Sandoval admitted preparing hundreds of false federal and state returns for clients for the tax years 2015 through 2018. On these returns, he claimed false or inflated amounts of the child tax credit, business losses, short-term capital losses and other items to which the taxpayer clients were not entitled.
Sandoval falsified the tax returns with deductions and credits that his clients did not incur or had not informed him about. He also inflated the amounts of deductions and credits that his clients were entitled to claim, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.
When he finished preparing a tax return, Sandoval gave his clients copies of their returns that were true and correct, but falsely told them he would file their true-and-correct copies with the Internal Revenue Service on their behalf, he admitted.
Sandoval then inflated his clients' returns with false and fraudulent deductions and credits and filed the false returns with the IRS. The false returns showed a larger refund than on the true-and-correct copies Sandoval had given to his clients.
Sandoval then directed the inflated refunds to himself, causing more than $750,000 in losses to the IRS.
U.S. District Judge Sherilyn Garnett scheduled a Sept. 6 sentencing hearing, at which time Sandoval will face up to three years in federal prison for each count, prosecutors noted.
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