PHOENIX (AP) – A former tax preparer in Phoenix has been fined $11,000 and sentenced to three years of probation for preparing false income tax returns.
State prosecutors say seven taxpayers were unaware that tax preparer Karen Hernandez had included false information on their returns.
The Arizona Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Unit discovered that during the 2016 and 2017 tax filing seasons, Hernandez prepared nine false returns.
Authorities say the 26-year-old Hernandez would increase her fees by including false itemized deductions.
The taxpayers didn’t know Hernandez had falsified their returns, which resulted in either higher refunds or reduced the taxes due.
Hernandez has been ordered to pay restitution to taxpayers to cover the cost of preparing amended returns and any interest or penalties on the unpaid tax due.