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A Cranston, R.I.-based tax preparer has pleaded guilty to using stolen identifies to receive more than 100 government checks in the amount of $800,700 and deposit them into her personal bank account. The preparer, Belkis M. Guzman, 48, pleaded to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, wire fraud, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft.

Guzman, a tax return preparer who worked at Providence, R.I.-based El Centro Multiservicios admitted the wrongdoing for returns prepared for clients for tax years  2009 through 2011.

To hike refunds, she utilized false dependents, exemptions, tax credits, deductions or expenses on client returns. The $800,700 was generated by filing phony tax returns prepared by others. After receiving these funds, Guzman distributed a portion to others and retained a percentage of the negotiated checks as payment for depositing the checks into her account.

She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count, 10 years for each count of theft of government funds, three years in prison for each count of assisting in the preparation of false tax returns for clients and a mandatory two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft, as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.  

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 September 2016
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