South River Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To Fraud Scheme

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NEWARK – A South River tax preparer pleaded guilty Tuesday to knowingly preparing fraudulent tax returns in order to defraud the Internal Revenue Service of owed taxes, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Regina Santos, the owner and operator of One Stop Agency, LLC, in South River, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise. The Information to which Santos pleaded guilty charges her with preparing tax returns for clients in which she fabricated and inflated deductions, allowing taxpayers to obtain refunds to which they were not entitled.

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From April 2007 through April 2008, Santos prepared tax returns on behalf of 40 clients for tax years 2004 through 2007 that included false deductions for medical expenses, gifts to charity, and job and other miscellaneous expenses. During her guilty plea, Santos admitted that she knew what she was doing was illegal. In all, Santos’ criminal conduct led to a tax loss of approximately $195,286.

At sentencing, scheduled for Santos faces a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

“Today’s plea by Ms. Santos emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Service and United States Attorney’s Office will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America’s tax system,” Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, said Tuesday.

Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction Offord, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.


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