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Business Observer Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 4 months ago

Area tax preparer convicted in $4 million tax fraud scheme

False claims filed on behalf of his clients exceeded $4 million over a four-year period.

FORT MYERS — A federal jury recently convicted a Collier County tax preparer of 12 counts of filing false claims against the Internal Revenue Service and three counts of making or subscribing to false tax returns, according to a statement. 

Augustin Dalusma faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for each count of filing a false claim and up to three years imprisonment for each count of making a false tax return, the Department of Justice news release states. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2020. Dalusma was indicted Sept. 26, 2018. 

According to the release, evidence presented at trial showed that between 2012 and 2015, Dalusma falsified information in tax returns for 630 of his clients, fraudulently qualifying them for thousands of dollars in tax refunds they were not lawfully entitled to collect. In total, the false claims filed on behalf of his clients exceeded $4 million over the four-year period, authorities contended. Dalusma also falsified his own tax returns from 2012 through 2014, significantly underreporting his own income to evade more than $30,000 in taxes for each of those years, officials alleged. 


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