Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Tax Fraud

A Santa Rosa man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for filing false tax returns and failing to report his financial interest in foreign bank accounts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Efrain Arturo Jovel, 64, pleaded guilty on Oct. 21 to willfully failing to report his financial interest in several foreign bank accounts and to knowingly signing false 2009 and 2010 federal income tax returns, prosecutors said.

Jovel owned and operated a tax return preparation business for more than 30 years in Santa Rosa and prepared approximately 1,800 tax returns per year, prosecutors said.

Jovel did not disclose interest income of $35,104 earned in 2009 and 2010 on funds he held in foreign bank accounts, prosecutors said.

He also admitted he willfully underreported gross receipts from his tax preparation service of $244,120 and $307,846, resulting in a tax loss of $175,023, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jovel agreed to pay a penalty of $287,896 prior to his sentencing by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg. In addition to his 18-month prison term, he was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution of $175,023 and a $10,000 fine, prosecutors said.

Dennis Culver, Bay City News

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