Date: December 19, 2022 Contact: email@example.com A tax preparer has been ordered to federal prison following her conviction of preparing false and fraudulent tax returns on behalf of taxpayers, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. Linda Lopez pleaded guilty April 7. Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Lopez to serve the statutory maximum of 36 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. Judge Alvarez noted that she was imposing the maximum sentence allowed under the statute because of the lengthy duration of the tax fraud scheme Lopez perpetrated through her tax preparation business. "The IRS entrusted Lopez to prepare and electronically file accurate returns for her clients. She violated that trust with the IRS, her clients and the citizens of the United States by instead submitting false tax returns. As we approach the tax filing season, those tax preparers considering preparing false tax returns should know of the extremely negative consequences as evidenced in today's sentencing," said Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS-Criminal investigation (IRS-CI) - Houston Field Office. "The special agents within IRS-CI, as well as the U.S. Attorney's office, will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud the U.S. tax system." Lopez was the owner and operator of a tax preparation business known as Premier Tax Solutions which operated from 2012 through 2022 in and around Mission. At the time of her plea, Lopez admitted that she prepared a federal tax return for a taxpayer that included multiple instances of false and fraudulent information, including false employee business expenses and false residential energy credit qualifying expenses. She also agreed to a loss amount that included a tax loss to the IRS related to several fraudulent tax returns she prepared. Lopez was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Swartz prosecuted the case.