LOS ANGELES – The former owner of a Tustin income tax preparation business called First Quality Tax Services was sentenced today to one year and one day in federal prison for preparing and filing fraudulent federal income tax returns claiming false deductions for his clients.
Thomas P. Butcher, 62, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge John A. Kronstadt.
In addition to the prison term, which he will begin serving by July 25, Butcher was ordered to pay $197,549 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Butcher pleaded guilty in January to two counts of aiding and abetting in the preparation of a false income tax return.
According to court documents Butcher prepared and filed tax returns for tax years 2009 through 2011 that claimed false credits and deductions that his clients were not entitled to receive.
Butcher “inflated or completely fabricated various itemized deductions on his clients' Schedules A, particularly those involving gifts to charity and alleged job expenses,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.
The fraudulent deductions and credits lowered the taxpayers' income tax liability. During the course of the scheme, Butcher prepared and filed with the IRS hundreds of false federal income tax returns that resulted in tax losses to the United States of at least $1,045,956. The IRS was able to recoup much of that money through audits of Butcher's clients. These clients “are victims of his scheme, as many of them underwent lengthy and costly IRS audits to not only pay back the refund to which they were not entitled, but interest and additional penalties,” according to the sentencing memo.
The investigation into Butcher was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation's Los Angeles Field Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Valerie L Makarewicz of the Tax Division.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek 213-894-6947 [email protected]
Press Release Number: 17-115 Updated June 8, 2017
Central District of California DOJ / 17-115 / June 08, 2017