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Rhode Island Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty

Friday, September 9, 2016 - Rhode Island Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing Fraudulent Returns and Aggravated Identity Theft

According to documents filed with the court, Belkis M. Guzman, 48, a tax return preparer who worked at El Centro Multiservicios LLC in Providence, Rhode Island, admitted to preparing false individual income tax returns for clients for tax years 2009 through 2011, which included false dependents, exemptions, tax credits, deductions or expenses.

She also admitted to depositing more than 100 fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks totaling more than $800,700 into her personal bank account, which were generated by the filing of false tax returns prepared by others. Guzman distributed a portion of these ill-gotten proceeds to others and received a percentage of the negotiated checks as payment for depositing the checks into her account.

U.S. District Judge William E. Smith for the District of Rhode Island scheduled sentencing for Dec. 2. Guzman faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count, 10 years in prison for each count of theft of government funds, three years in prison for each count of assisting in the preparation of false tax returns for clients and a mandatory two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft, as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.