Tax preparer accused of identity theft

February 15, 2010

Police are searching for a tax preparer who is suspected of stealing an Arroyo Grande resident’s identity in order to collect bogus tax refunds. [TimesPressRecorder]

The suspect, the former owner of Exact Tax in Grover Beach, filed amended returns for at least one of his clients, to whom the IRS dolled out additional refunds. The tax preparer provided the IRS an address in the Los Angeles area for the refund checks to be mailed.

However, the IRS sent two refund checks totaling about $2,500 to the victim’s Arroyo Grande address. The victim, who knew he wasn’t due the refunds, contacted the IRS.

A lengthy joint investigation by officials from the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS, and the Arroyo Grande Police Department uncovered that the tax preparer had filed fraudulent amended tax returns for the victim for tax years 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The police have a lead on the suspect, but aren’t releasing his name until they’ve arrested him.

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