A man and woman who owned and operated a tax return preparation business in El Cajon have been indicted for allegedly preparing hundreds of fraudulent tax returns that resulted in about $1.4 million in unwarranted tax refunds, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Mimi and Vincent Bozzo, both 60, are accused of preparing and filing around 500 federal income tax returns that they knew contained false information, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which did not specify the defendants' relation to one another.
They are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and 18 counts of aiding or assisting the filing of false income tax returns.
The Bozzos, who currently reside in Trinity, Texas, operated their El Cajon business under several names like "All Pro Services" and "A to Z Tax Preparation," according to court papers.
Prosecutors say that between January 2012 and April 2018, the defendants helped file returns that resulted in fraudulently inflated tax credits and refunds, and accompanied their customers to check-cashing businesses to cash their refund checks. The Bozzos, who charged about $800 per tax return, also sometimes demanded a portion of the cashed refund check in addition to tax preparation fees already deducted from the inflated tax refunds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors allege the Bozzos also encouraged customers to create receipts for income they did not earn in order to inflate tax credits and refunds.
"Over the course of several years, the Bozzos knowingly prepared and filed hundreds of false tax returns," alleged Ryan L. Korner, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office. "This is yet another example of suspect tax preparers taking advantage of fellow Americans. American taxpayers who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don't."
The Bozzos were arraigned in San Diego federal court Monday and were ordered to post bond before they could return to their Texas home. They're due back in court Dec. 3.