Portland Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland, Oregon, tax return preparer pleaded guilty today to preparing and filing false and fraudulent tax returns for clients and for herself, announced U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams.

Elizabeth Munoz, 37, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of preparing and filing false income tax returns for clients and to four counts of filing false income tax returns for herself.

According to court documents, from 2015 to 2018, Munoz operated a federal and state income tax return preparation business from her home in Southeast Portland. Munoz advertised on business cards that she would obtain for her clients the “Biggest Refund Guaranteed.” Munoz allegedly prepared 1,196 false and fraudulent individual income tax returns for about 629 clients, resulting in an approximately $3 million tax loss through fraudulent refunds. The exact tax loss will be determined at Munoz’s sentencing on March 16, 2021.

Munoz’s allegedly used fraudulent tax schedules, tax credits, and filing statuses to carry out the refund fraud. Though Munoz charged her clients up to $150 per tax return, she reported no business income on her own personal income tax returns from 2014 through 2017.

On August 5, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 25-count indictment charging Munoz with filing false income tax returns and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns.

Each count of conviction carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a one-year term of supervised release. Munoz will also be ordered to pay full restitution to the IRS.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Seth D. Uram, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.