A federal court has permanently a couple with tax preparation offices in San Antonio from preparing tax returns, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Prosecutors argued Pete Escalante Gutierrez and Jeanette Gutierrez, through their companies, prepared federal tax returns for customers that claimed false and exaggerated deductions and credits. According to the government complaint, the Gutierrezes unlawfully understated their clients' tax liabilities.
The amount of tax loss resulting from the false tax preparations likely exceeds $3 million and happened from 2006 to 2010, prosecutors said.
According to the Justice Department, the Gutierrezes consented to the civil injunction without admitting to the allegations against them.
The injunction permits their companies, FCRE Inc., Fast Cash Refund Express Electronic Tax Service LLC, Fast Cash Refund Express and Fast Cash Express Electronic Services, to continue to operate. But the Gutierrezes must sell their interests in the businesses and take no role other than administrative matters until they are sold, officials said.
While the companies operate, they are permanently barred from promoting any false tax schemes and from advising or encouraging taxpayers to attempt to evade their federal tax liabilities.
Each of the businesses and the Gutierrezes are required to turn over the names of the people for whom they prepared tax returns or claimed tax refunds since Jan. 1, 2012, officials said.
The IRS lists tax-preparer fraud as one of the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams. The Justice Department has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax-return preparers and tax-fraud promoters in the past decade. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.