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Tax preparer off to prison Carlos R. Davalos | Fri, Mar 19 2010 03:35 PM

Federal judge sends tax preparer to prison for half a decade

By Neal Putnam

The Star- News correspondent

A National City tax preparer has been sentenced to five years and five months in federal prison for filing false tax returns for herself and failure to pay her own taxes when she did not fully disclose her income. A judge ordered her to pay $377,468 to the Internal Revenue Service. Fe Simbajon Garrett, 62, operated the businesses called Fe's Tax Service and Garrett's Tax Service. She also operated a real estate financing business known as Garrett's Realty and Mortgage.

U.S. District Court Judge M. James Lorenz denied probation and ordered Garrett to pay $377,468 in restitution on March 1. She has been in the Metropolitan Correctional Center since the Aug. 19, 2009, verdict. She will be given credit for seven months already served in jail.

Garrett was convicted of all charges by the San Diego jury that included aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns.

According to U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors, she failed to report more than $300,000 of her income from her businesses on her federal income tax returns for 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.

An undercover IRS agent posed as a customer and visited her office. The agent wore a wire and Garrett was heard describing her "own style" of preparing tax returns and using "loopholes" for claiming deductions on income tax returns. Jurors heard those recordings.


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