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Claudia Zuloaga, tax preparerTwo tax preparers and one of their clients, all from the Miami, Fla., area, have drawn sentences for a tax fraud scheme in which the preparers charged a fee of 30 percent of inflated refunds. The preparers Claudia Zuloaga, 43, and Sharon Elizabeth Angulo, 49, were each sentenced to five years in prison and each was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to the United States.

The client, Sean Anthony Lopez, 35, was charged with claiming $625,320 in refunds to which he was not entitled. He drew a two-and-a-half year sentence and must pay $695,635 in restitution.

The preparers operated under the names Sterling Executive Associates Inc. and Sterling Executive (Sterling), and prepared returns claiming inflated refunds for Lopez and as well as others. The government charged the preparers' scheme lasted from about September 2008 through September 2012 that claimed refunds of more than $5.4 million with the IRS having issued checks for $2.3 million, part of which went to Lopez.

The returns falsely claimed interest income and gave the appearance of entitling the client to a significant tax refund due to over-withholding of tax payments. The duo also utilized a common tool, use of phony IRS forms 1099-OID that claimed bogus interest and withholding amounts.

News reports in 2013 in Miami says Zuloaga was given probation in 2004 after facing grand theft charges. Early last year, the Miami law firm of Alvarez Barbara said Zuloaga, using the name Daya Oluz, was office manager for Prescott Rosche, which it said utilized false foreclosure procedures to seize 30 homes and condos in south Florida.


Last modified on Tuesday, 03 March 2015
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