LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas tax preparer has been sentenced to prison for fraudulently preparing and filing over $1.2 million in false income tax returns, according to a report from The United States Department of Justice.

Maria Magdalena Mendoza, 52, pleaded guilty in February 2023 to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false income tax returns.

Mendoza was sentenced to three years in prison and one year of supervised release.

According to court documents, Mendoza ran her own tax preparation business under the names “Taxes & More” and “Taxs y Mas” in 2013.

The report stated that Mendoza used false or inflated deductions and credits on tax returns filed on behalf of her clients.

In total, Mendoza prepared more than 700 tax returns that claimed more than $3 million in refunds from the IRS, causing more than $1.2 million in tax loss.

“The defendant prepared hundreds of false income tax returns and brazenly defrauded the IRS of more than $1.2 million,” United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of
Nevada said.

In addition, Mendoza used her clients’ personal information in order to obtain a larger refund on her own tax returns. According to the report, Mendoza inflated her clients’ refund requests without their knowledge and stole the excess amount.

Through that scheme, Mendoza took over $500,000 of her clients’ tax refund payments from 2013 to 2017.

“Ms. Mendoza not only cheated the IRS but she victimized her clients in a pattern that extends
years before indictment, all the way up to the eve of sentencing,” Albert Childress, Special
Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation said. “The defendant further harmed her clients by
causing them to be audited by the IRS.”

In March of 2023, while on pretrial release, Mendoza was arrested while in possession of a stolen passport, driver’s licenses, and credit cards in the name of other individuals, along with forged copies of checks.