Bay Area tax preparer pleads to helping file false tax returns

A Vallejo tax preparer, striking a plea deal in a federal courtroom in Sacramento, faces three years in prison and a $100,000 fine for willfully helping in the preparation and presentation of bogus income tax returns, a U.S. Attorney said.

Emilio Lara, 55, of American Canyon, pleaded to the charges on Tuesday, Phillip A. Talbert, the U.S. Attorney, said in a press statement.

According to court documents, Lara was the owner of Lara’s Income Tax Services, an income tax preparation business in the 1000 block of Tennessee Street in Vallejo.

From 2009 to 2012, he prepared individual income tax returns for clients on which he falsely inflated certain Schedule A deductions. Lara listed inflated amounts for medical and dental expenses, charitable contributions by cash or check, charitable contributions other than by cash or check, and unreimbursed employee expenses, resulting in a loss to the IRS, noted Talbert, who serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice’s Eastern District of California.

According to the plea agreement, Lara agreed to pay back $7,868 in restitution for tax loss to the IRS. Lara further agreed to a tax preparation injunction, which means he will be permanently prohibited from preparing or filing federal tax returns for anyone other than himself, said Talbert.

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