SAN DIEGO (CN) - A former IRS agent turned tax preparer was arrested Friday and charged with stealing $11 million in taxes that should have been sent to the IRS, federal prosecutors said.
Steven Martinez, 49, of Ramona, was charged in a 49-count criminal indictment, including mail fraud, procuring false tax returns, Social Security fraud, aggravated identity theft, making false tax returns, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Martinez is accused of preparing returns that showed clients they owed "a significant amount of tax," then having them write checks to a so-called client trust account. Then he'd file a different return, showing his clients owed little or no tax, and spend their money "to fuel his extravagant lifestyle which included a multimillion dollar home in Ramona, an airplane, a boat, a motor home, trips to the Super Bowl, and vacations in Mexico," prosecutors said.
Martinez was due in court today (Monday) for arraignment.
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