Tulare cousins sentenced to prison for defrauding 75 taxpayers of their tax refunds


U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Tulare residents Roberto Olivares, 35, to 2.5 years in prison, and his cousin Rojelio Martin, 31, to two years and nine months in prison for a scheme that defrauded taxpayers out of $50,000 in tax refunds, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The defendants were ordered to pay $44,860 in restitution.

According to court documents, Olivares and Martin prepared personal tax returns for clients of “Success Income Tax Services,” a Tulare-based business that the cousins formed and operated. Between January 2008 and May 2008, Martin, a licensed tax preparer, and Olivares, who admitted being the leader of the fraud scheme, prepared and provided their clients with completed tax returns that fraudulently understated the refunds due. The defendants then filed with the Internal Revenue Service the correct tax returns reflecting the actual refunds due. Unbeknownst to the victimized clients, Olivares and Martin fraudulently directed the IRS to deposit a portion of each client’s refund into the defendants’ own bank accounts. As a result of the fraud, approximately 75 taxpayers lost approximately $50,000.

This case was the product of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Baker prosecuted the case. 

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