Cousins Roberto Olivares, and Rojelio Martin, pleaded guilty in Fresno on Monday to cheating clients out of nearly $50,000 in income tax refunds. The two men from Tulare are being charged with 10 counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud taxpayers, the United States Attorney’s Office said. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced later this year on May 20th before United States District Judge Lawrence O’Neill. Each is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count and a $250,000 fine.
According to court documents, 75 clients lost approximately $50,000 because of the tax fraud. Olivares and Martin would file the correct tax return with the Internal Revenue Service and they would then alter the section asking where the refund should be distributed to and in what amount. The two men indicated that the refund would be divided between the client and themselves. The client ended up receiving the amount shown in the false tax return and the excess amount of what they should have received went into the two men’s bank accounts.
The plea agreements stated that the two men had a Tulare-based tax business called “Success Income Tax Service”. Olivares and Martin prepared personal tax returns for clients between January 2008 and May 2008. Martin, who was a licensed tax preparer, was the one who prepared their tax returns.
On April 19th, a federal grand jury charged the two men with 79 counts of wire fraud. Both were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The IRS criminal investigation division investigated the case.