NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – October 19, 2020
SAN DIEGO – Two former tax preparers based in El Cajon, California were arraigned in federal court today on an indictment alleging they participated in a tax return scam that resulted in the filing of hundreds of false returns and the request of more than $1.4 million in bogus tax refunds.
Mimi Bozzo, also known as Mimi Morrison, and Vincent Bozzo, are charged in the indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding and assisting the filing of false income tax returns. According to the indictment, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo owned and operated a tax return preparation business in El Cajon, California, under various business names, including “All Pro Services” and “A to Z Tax Preparation.”
The indictment alleges that from at least January 2012 through April 2018, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo knowingly prepared and filed approximately 500 federal income tax returns that contained false Schedule C business income and false Schedule C business expenses resulting in fraudulently inflated tax credits and refunds. Mimi and Vincent Bozzo allegedly charged their customers approximately $800 per tax return. As part of the tax fraud, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo allegedly transported or accompanied some customers to check-cashing businesses to cash their falsely inflated tax refund checks, and at times, demanded from the customers a portion of the cashed refund check in addition to the tax preparation fees that had already been deducted from the inflated tax refunds. According to the indictment, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo also used their customers to recruit new clients in order to prepare fraudulent returns, paying a fee for each new referral.
The indictment further alleges that Mimi and Vincent Bozzo solicited and obtained the false income from taxpayers by encouraging the creation of receipts for income that the taxpayers did not earn in order to inflate tax credits and refunds that the taxpayers were not entitled. Mimi and Vincent Bozzo allegedly solicited and obtained personal identifying information of taxpayers by passing out flyers and business cards, which offered people assistance in obtaining money from the government.
To further their tax fraud, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo allegedly prepared tax returns using taxpayers’ personal identifying information and including false and fraudulent information as to income, expenses, deductions and credits. Of note, the indictment alleges that Mimi and Vincent Bozzo falsely claimed on the tax returns that the taxpayers had engaged in the businesses listed on Schedule C, such as household employment. As the indictment alleges, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo’s conspiracy and tax fraud caused the submission of false claims to the IRS for tax refunds totaling at least approximately $1.4 million and caused the IRS to disperse the refunds to the taxpayers.
“Tax fraud continues to be a growing problem plaguing our community,” said United States Attorney Robert Brewer. “When tax fraud scams are brought to our attention, we will diligently work together with the IRS to unravel the fraud and prosecute those responsible for defrauding the IRS and honest taxpayers in order to protect the integrity of our tax system.”
“Over the course of several years the Bozzos knowingly prepared and filed hundreds of false tax returns,” said 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.”
At the end of the arraignment, Mimi and Vincent Bozzo were ordered to post bond before returning to their home in Texas. The next hearing is scheduled for December 3, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.
DEFENDANTS Criminal Case No. 20CR2944-GPC
Mimi Bozzo Age: 60 Trinity, Texas
Vincent Bozzo Age: 60 Trinity, Texas
SUMMARY OF CHARGES:
Count 1 – Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 B Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
Maximum penalties: 5 years in prison, $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release.
Counts 2-19 – Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2) – Aiding or Assisting the Filing of False Income Tax Returns
Maximum penalties: Three years in prison per count, $250,000 fine per count, one year of supervised release per count
Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation
*An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.