The proprietor of a tax preparation company in Westminster was sentenced today to 41 months in federal prison for taking part in a scheme run by a dishonest social worker who used his clients’ identities to get credit cards, tax refunds, and welfare payments falsely.
Nguyen entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiring to defraud the US
United States District Judge James V. Selna jailed 54-year-old Fountain Valley resident Anton Nguyen and mandated that he pay $3,773,282 in restitution.
On April 10, Nguyen entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiring to defraud the US.
From July 1994 through October 2018, Nguyen plotted with John Tran, an Orange County Social Services Agency caseworker who is thought to be 57 or 61 years old and from Fountain Valley. Tran stole from his clients, many of whom were recent immigrants, their Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII).
Using the stolen data, Tran and his accomplices defrauded the federal government, the State of California, the County of Orange, and financial institutions between August 2010 and June 2019.
In an article from New Santa Ana, Nguyen was then the owner and operator of Westminster-based Century Travel & Tax, which prepared taxes. Nguyen joined the conspiracy in 2012 and used the stolen identities provided by Tran to produce phony Forms 1099-MISC that claimed to indicate payments made to victims of identity theft by businesses, including those under the control of Tran and other conspirators. Additionally, he assisted his allies in establishing front companies to advertise the scam.
Nguyen prepared and submitted federal tax forms using the stolen identities supplied by Tran. Additionally, he made the victims of identity theft appear to be eligible for tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit by using the alleged payments on the bogus Forms 1099 as income.
Nguyen received payment from his clients for fabricating the Forms 1099
In exchange, Nguyen’s clients used the reported payments to the identity theft victims to offset business earnings and lower the taxes they owed by giving the impression that the victims were employees of the clients. Nguyen received payment from his clients for fabricating the Forms 1099.
At least $973,153 in fraudulently obtained tax refund payments from the US were made as a result of Tran and his accomplices filing 433 tax returns using PII from other people.
Nguyen stole at least $3,773,282 in taxes from the US in total, with the help of his accomplices.
In a sentencing memorandum, the prosecution said that this was a noticeably complex tax cheating operation that involved the theft and illegal use of PII by a federal worker to produce false business deductions- tax fraud. The success of the strategy depended on tax preparers like [Nguyen], reports from New Santa Ana.
This matter was looked into by the IRS Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Bradley E. Marrett, an assistant US attorney from the Santa Ana Branch Office, handled the prosecution in this case, tax fraud.