RIVERSIDE, California – A San Bernardino County man who prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns for both his clients and himself that claimed false business losses has been sentenced to serve eight months in federal prison.
Mervyn Gucilatar, 46, of Yucaipa, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. In addition to the prison term, Judge Bernal ordered Gucilatar to pay $573,440 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Gucilatar, who operated his tax preparation business under the name JM Tax Solutions, pleaded guilty in February to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and one count of making and subscribing to a false tax return.
According to the plea agreement filed in the case, while working with another unidentified return preparer, Gucilatar prepared fraudulent tax returns that claimed false partnership losses to which his clients were not entitled. The false partnership losses related to a limited liability corporation that was created with no legitimate purpose.
The fraudulent tax returns included personal expenses and fictitious expenses for the partnerships that had no business purpose other than to create a loss. The false losses to the partnerships were passed through to the personal tax returns of Gucilatar's clients, thereby reducing their income tax liability.
Gucilatar prepared at least 35 sets of fraudulent partnership and individual income tax returns on behalf of clients resulting in a total tax loss of $678,873 for the 2012 tax year.
Prior to working with the unidentified return preparer, Gucilatar was his client. Using the other return preparer, Gucilatar filed amended 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax returns that used the same LLC scheme and claimed false partnership losses. Gucilatar also filed a fraudulent 2012 tax return using the LLC scheme on his own behalf, which created an additional tax loss. The total tax loss associated with the 2009-2012 returns filed in the name of Gucilatar and his wife is $95,882.
In the plea agreement, Gucilatar agreed to the entry of a civil injunction, which will bar him for life from aiding in the preparation of tax returns for anyone other than himself and his wife. He will also be barred from representing other individuals before the IRS.
This case is the product of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean D. Peterson of the Riverside Branch Office.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney's Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 17-184Updated October 17, 2017
Central District of California DOJ / 17-184 / October 17, 2017