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Orange County Focus

SANTA ANA : Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

April 22, 1993|LILY DIZON

A 19-year-old Santa Ana tax preparer pleaded guilty to preparing and filing 58 income tax returns totaling more than $140,000 in fraudulent refund claims, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Luis Ortiz Jr., owner of Plaza Income Tax, was charged in March with obstructing and impeding the administration of tax laws, Assistant U.S. Atty. Wayne Gross said.

Gross said that in 1992 Ortiz electronically filed income tax returns on behalf of his clients. However, Ortiz claimed significant tax refunds that were fraudulent, Gross said. Ortiz then secured refund anticipation loans from banks based on the claims and split the proceeds with the tax filers, Gross said.

It was not immediately known if the tax filers were aware of the fraudulent claims, Gross added.

Ortiz is scheduled to be sentenced June 21 in federal court in Santa Ana. He faces a maximum three years in prison, one year's probation and a $250,000 fine.

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