Date: August 17, 2021 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Orlando, FL — U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Petra Gomez to eight years in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the government and tax evasion. She had pleaded guilty on November 16, 2020. Gomez's sister, Jakeline Lumucso, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and was sentenced in April 2021 to four years in federal prison. The court also ordered Gomez and Lumucso to pay $24,940,495 in restitution to the IRS. Gomez was ordered to pay an additional $510,999 to the IRS for tax evasion. According to court documents, from January 2012 to June 2016, Gomez and Lumucso conspired to defraud the IRS by submitting more than 16,000 false tax returns, which resulted in nearly $25 million in fraudulent tax refunds. To conceal the fraud, Gomez and Lumucso created five different tax preparation companies. In some instances, they opened the companies in the names of other people to conceal the fraud. In addition, when filing her 2014 tax return, Gomez failed to declare more than $800,000 in income. Gomez claimed $213,434 in earnings when she actually had earned $1,110,508. This resulted in a tax liability of $510,999 for tax year 2014. "Today's substantial sentencing of Petra Gomez for her role in a conspiracy involving preparation of false tax returns, for both her clients and herself, is a triumph for all honest return preparers," said Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne of IRS Criminal Investigation. "Putting abusive return preparers out of business is a top priority for IRS-CI. Let this be a reminder to others seeking to enrich themselves - tampering with the integrity of our nation's tax system will result in jail time." This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier and former Assistant United States Attorney Karen Gable.