Lawrence Tax Preparer & Former School Teacher Sentenced for Filing False Claims for Tax Refunds

BOSTON – A Lawrence tax preparer and former teacher in the Lawrence and Boston school systems was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with his role in defrauding the IRS of hundreds of thousands of dollars by filing false tax returns.

Leonidas Nunez, 61, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to 20 months in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $221,964 to the IRS.  In March 2015, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the IRS and six counts of submitting false claims for tax refunds. 

From October 2010 through April 2011, Nunez conspired with others to defraud the IRS by presenting false income tax returns to the IRS.  The returns falsely alleged income earned by more than 100 Puerto Rican residents who had not had federal income tax withheld and who were not required to file income tax returns in the United States. 

Nunez and his co-conspirators further directed the IRS to deposit the resulting fraudulent refunds into bank accounts controlled by Nunez and his co-conspirators.  Together, they filed over 100 fraudulent returns with the IRS for tax year 2010, resulting in over $550,000 in fraudulent claims and over $220,000 in refunds.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Bloomer of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.