Canyon Lake woman sentenced to prison for submitting false tax returns

On top of prison, the defendant is required to pay $227,000 to four victims

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CANYON LAKE, Texas – A Canyon Lake woman was sentenced to 24 months in prison for helping prepare false tax returns, federal authorities said.

Dawn Marie Munoz, 54, was recently sentenced in a federal court in El Paso after pleading guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

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She was arrested on April 12, 2022, and pleaded guilty on May 10, 2023, to one count of a 16-count indictment. On top of her sentencing, she is ordered to pay $227,197 to four affected clients.

Court documents show that Munoz operated a tax preparation business where she would file IRS forms for an organization and its members and later would underreport the clients’ income.

“She prepared fraudulent returns for clients, convinced them to write checks to pay money to the IRS that they didn’t owe, stole the money, and filed false returns herself to cover her tracks,” Ramsey E. Covington, special agent in charge at the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Houston Field Office, said in the news release.

Covington added that Munoz “lied and stole from her clients in ways that should make everyone question and double check every aspect of their tax returns this year.”

Jaime Esparza, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, said Munoz took advantage of her longtime clients.

People who try to commit related crimes will receive serious punishments, Esparza said in the release.

This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mallory Rasmussen prosecuted the case.

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