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O.C. Preparer Sentenced to 10 Years

A former tax preparer based in Orange County, Calif., has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

Stephen Jake McGonigle, 66, of Victorville drew the sentenced in which he used stolen Social Security numbers to claim more than $10 million in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities.

Last year, jury found McGonigle guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The scheme began in 2013 with McGonigle sending a co-defendant to Thailand to get fake ID documents, utilizing the stolen identities and filing false returns in office space in Costa Rica. He asked refunds be deposited into prepaid debit cards that were then sent to commercial mailboxes in Orange County and other locations

.Using direct surveillance and travel records, law enforcement officials determined McGonigle had hired employees in Costa 

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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