Written by Donald A. Promnitz
A former tax preparer from Porterville pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax return.
According to court documents, Leticia Bedolla, 39, operated a tax preparation service called Leticia Tax Service. Bedolla prepared and electronically filed tax returns with the IRS on behalf of her customers. In finalizing the customers’ federal income tax returns for electronic filing, she would sometimes fabricate the amounts of deductions and deductible expenses without informing her customers that she was doing so, according to court records.
In other instances, she would ask a general question about a customer’s personal expenses and then mischaracterize the information on the customer’s federal income tax return to improperly claim a deduction or tax credit.
As a result of Bedolla’s preparation and submission to the IRS of false and fraudulent federal income tax returns, she caused her customers to claim tax deduction and credits to which the customers were not entitled. This resulted in the IRS paying excessive refunds to Bedolla’s customers or not collecting additional taxes that would have been due and owing from her customers. This conduct resulted in a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $105,747.
The case was the product of an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division of the IRS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III is prosecuting the case.
Bedolla is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Dale A. Drozd in February. She faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.