On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, a Salinas, California resident was sentenced to 54 months in prison for aggravated identity theft, filing false tax returns, and making false statements. 41-year-old Elizabeth Calderon pleaded guilty to the charges on September 12, 2016. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Beth Labson Freeman.
According to court filings, Calderon assisted in the preparation and filing of more than 4,000 federal income taxes from 2010 to 2013. Many of the returns were materially false because, because they contained improperly reported credit, expenses and deductions. Some also had false filing statuses or contained some combination of the aforementioned attributes. Simultaneously, Calderon hide the profits she earned assisting in the filing of the tax returns.
Calderon omitted hundreds of thousands of dollars from her own tax returns and purchased a home in the name of a “straw” buyer. Calderon also admitted to preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. In total, her conduct led to the government losing more than $1,000,000.
Calderon was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 1, 2015. In addition to serving 54 months in prison, Calderon has also been ordered to pay $1,036,547 in restitution. She will also be required to forfeit $167,381 and serve three years of supervised release. Calderon has been ordered to refrain from preparing or filing tax returns for anyone else during her supervised release period. She will begin serving her sentence on October 25, 2017.