Boston - A Springfield tax preparer was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Springfield for filing fraudulent tax returns for her clients.
Yolanda Mercedes Perez Lopez, 51, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to 18 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and $46,300 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. In November 2012, Perez Lopez pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, false statements to a federally insured financial institution, endeavoring to interfere with the administration of the internal revenue laws, false representation of United States citizenship, and false representation of a Social Security Number with intent to deceive.
Perez Lopez operated a tax preparation business in Springfield called Lopez Multiservice (LMS). Between February 2007 and April 2008, in order to obtain greater tax refunds for her customers than they were entitled to receive, Perez Lopez prepared numerous tax returns that she knew were fraudulent. Perez Lopez also corruptly endeavored to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws by making materially false statements to representatives of the IRS; providing false documentation for her customers to submit to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue; and counseling her customers to lie to representatives of the IRS.
In addition, in April 2009, Perez Lopez provided false and fraudulent financial information to a loan officer at National City Mortgage, a division of National City Bank, in connection with a residential mortgage application for a property located in Agawam, Mass. This information included a 2007 and 2008 tax return that stated substantially more income than the tax returns that she had previously filed with the IRS.
Further, in June 2009, Perez Lopez prepared an amended 2008 tax return that she knew was fraudulent, in that the tax return claimed a first-time homebuyer credit for the property in Agawam, despite the fact that Perez Lopez knew that the individual had already purchased a home which he continued to own and occupy as his primary residence.
Lastly, Perez Lopez is a national from the Dominican Republic who resided in the United States without a valid visa. To conceal her true identity, nationality, and immigration status, Perez Lopez used the name, date of birth, and Social Security Number of another person, who was a United States citizen and resident of Puerto Rico. Perez Lopez used this fraudulent identity to operate LMS, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance, and a Massachusetts driver's license.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent In Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Scott Antolik, Special Agent In Charge of the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; and Cortez Richardson, Special Agent In Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Boston Regional Office, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz's Springfield Branch Office.