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Florida Woman Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison Over Tax Fraud Scheme

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Florida Woman Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison Over Tax Fraud Scheme


According to a Department of Justice press release, a Florida woman was sentenced to serve eight years in federal prison after taking part in a scheme to file thousands of falsified tax returns attempting to procure fraudulent refunds. This story should remind taxpayers that regardless of the magnitude of criminal tax activity, the IRS and the Department of Justice do not take criminal tax actions lightly and the repercussions of a criminal tax prosecution can be life changing. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or have filed a tax return with false or misleading information, that could not be supported upon an IRS or state tax audit, egg shell audit, reverse eggshell audit or criminal tax investigation it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your options to come into tax compliance.

Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed foreign information returns coupled with affirmative evasion of U.S. income tax on offshore income) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosurebefore the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax investigation / prosecution, the taxpayer can ordinarily be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously often receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. 

It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from being potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended, in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.

Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime in itself). Only an Attorney trained in Criminal Tax Defense fully understands the risks and rewards involved in voluntary disclosures and how to protect you if you do not qualify for a voluntary disclosure.

As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, KovelCPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and your net worth. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!

Defendant Filed 16,000 False Tax Returns

Court records reveal that Petra Gomez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and tax evasion last year. As a part of that prosecution, federal prosecutors alleged that Gomez and her sister, Jakeline Lumucso, worked together to file more than 16,000 falsified tax returns between 2012 and 2016. Over that time, the defendants attempted to collect over $25 million in fraudulent refunds. The co-conspirators requested thousands of refunds using five different tax preparation companies.

In addition to the fraudulent requesting of tax refunds, Gomez pleaded guilty to filing a false 2014 individual income tax return. In that filing, she underreported her income by more than $800,000, causing a tax loss to the IRS of more than $500,000

Lumucso was sentenced to four years in prison earlier this year. In addition to being sentenced to serve eight years in prison, Gomez was ordered to pay restitution of just under $25 million, representing the tax loss that she caused.

Strategizing With a Tax Attorney to Come into Compliance

This story should sound the alarm for taxpayers who have either failed to file a tax return or have filed a tax return with misleading or downright incorrect information. Although the IRS and Department of Justice found particular interest in prosecuting the defendant for her conspiracy to defraud the United States, she was also charged with lying on her individual income tax return. The reality is that the IRS and Department of Justice will pursue taxpayers who have lied on their tax return regardless of the amount at issue.

If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have filed a tax return that underreports income or over reports deductions, you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your civil and/or criminal liability and work toward coming into tax compliance. Together, you and your seasoned tax attorney will determine the best strategy to catch you up with the IRS or state tax authorities while mitigating some of the potential repercussions that can result.

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