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High Desert Tax Preparer Sentenced to More Than 2 Years in Prison for Tax Scheme that Collected over $1 Million in Fraudulent Refunds

          LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County tax preparer was sentenced this morning to 26 months in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns with the IRS as part of a scheme that illegally generated more than $1 million in refunds.

          Scott Douglas Cutting Sr., 70, of Apple Valley, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu, who also ordered Cutting to pay $1,392,765 in restitution to the IRS.

          After a three-day trial in April, a federal jury found Cutting guilty of six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns.

          Cutting, who portrayed himself as a certified public accountant despite his CPA license expiring 30 years ago, prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns on behalf clients. Cutting had tax refunds – which typically were hundreds or thousands of dollars from each fraudulent tax return – directly deposited into his own bank accounts, often giving his clients nothing or only a small portion of the refund.

          Cutting filed tax returns on behalf of low- or no-income individuals that falsely claimed income or credits to create a tax refund. Cutting electronically filed the returns with the IRS, but he did not identify himself as the preparer of the tax returns. Cutting often filed tax returns for people when he had no authority to do so – including for dead people – using personal identifying information of individuals and their family members without their permission. He often hired “recruiters” to purchase taxpayers’ personal identifying information to use in his fraudulent tax returns.

          Between 2008 and 2016, Cutting prepared and filed approximately 477 false or fraudulent tax returns, and the IRS issued approximately $1,392,765 in refunds, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum.

          This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation.

          This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Veronica M.A. Alegría and Bryant Y. Yang of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.

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