Tax Preparer Accused of $1M in IRS Fraud

A tax preparer from Lemon Grove was arrested Monday in Arizona on suspicion of carrying out a scheme to steal Social Security numbers, file false tax returns and defraud the Internal Revenue Service, authorities reported.

IRS agents took Cynthia Lozano, 31, into custody in Phoenix, where she will make her first appearance in federal court on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
According to a grand jury indictment, the suspect used her business, CLozano Income Tax, to submit fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking bogus refunds.
Starting in 2010, Lozano allegedly made false statements that prompted the IRS to issue refunds under EIC provisions, which allow for a refundable federal income-tax credit for low- to moderate-income individuals and families as a way to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to provide an incentive to work.
If a taxpayer’s EIC exceeds the amount of taxes actually owed, it results in the IRS paying a refund to the taxpayers, who claim and qualify for the credit.
According to charging documents, Lozano targeted more than 200 victims by filing fraudulent IRS 1040 forms in the their names. The taxpayers frequently were unaware that Lozano had used their Social Security numbers, thus also becoming victims of aggravated identity theft.
As a result, Lozano allegedly received over $1 million worth of fraudulent refunds from the IRS, which she laundered through an array of bank accounts and used, in part, to buy 20 properties in and around Phoenix.
Lozano’s indictment seeks forfeiture of the real estate to recompense the government and to prevent her from reaping a financial benefit from her alleged crimes.

Defense files motion dismissing evidence citing police coercion

When being falsely or wrongly accused of anything, most of us become upset and flustered. When an interrogation is being conducted by actual police officers, skilled at using coercive tactics to confuse and intimidate, many of us would likely fall victim and appear guilty.

Two young men are currently behind bars awaiting trial for the murder of another 20-year-old man. The criminal defense attorney for one of the accused men, contends his client is innocent and was coerced through police aggression and intimidation into making statements that made him appear guilty.

The two men are accused of killing one man and attacking another. Both men have pled not guilty to the charges and there is no physical evidence linking either to the crime. Trying desperately to tie the men to the crime, prosecutors are relying on the testimony of four witnesses who have since recanted their statements claiming police coercion.

Additionally, prosecutors plan to introduce evidence collected during interrogations. The defense attorney for one of the accused, however, contends his client was not aware of his constitutional rights during the interrogations. He also points out that his client has a learning disability which affects his reading and comprehension skills and that questioning by police took place during extremely early and late hours which served to disorientate his client.

The defense attorney contends any statements made by his client were the result of intimidating, misleading and outright lying on the part of police interrogators. The accused defense attorney believes so strongly in his client’s innocence that he is working the case pro bono.

The hearing ruling on the defense’s motion to dismiss the majority of statements submitted by police officers on the grounds they are not valid will be heard on April 26.