Two years in prison for Texas tax preparer


Date: April 27, 2023


Adela Cruz, a tax preparer from Ulvade County, Texas, was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for willfully assisting clients in the preparation and filing of false tax returns with the IRS.

According to court documents, between 2014 and 2017, Cruz operated a business in Uvalde County preparing tax returns. To inflate her clients’ refunds, Cruz claimed on those returns false education credits, dependents, and business profits or losses. Cruz did not sign these false returns as the preparer, but rather concealed her involvement by using fictitious taxpayer emails. Cruz also claimed false education credits on her own tax returns for 2015 and 2016.

“Cruz charged her clients between $200-500 to prepare tax returns that included false education credits, dependent information, and business profits and losses. For anyone who applied for an extension this tax season, pay attention to this case because this is the type of tax preparer you should avoid,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Houston Field Office. “Cruz will spend 27 months in federal prison because she broke the law by stealing from our nation and we caught her. The IRS-CI special agents who investigate the cases and the Justice Department attorneys who prosecute them serve this country selflessly, bringing people like Cruz to justice.”

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge David Counts ordered Cruz to serve one year of supervised release and to pay a $1,500 fine and $129,239 in restitution to the United States.

IRS-CI investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Robert A. Kemins and Nicholas J. Schilling, Jr., of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.

IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. IRS-CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code. The agency’s Houston Field Office stretches across Texas with nine offices between Houston and El Paso.