On January 26, 2023, in the Eastern District of California, Deena Vang Lee was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, five counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent return, and three counts of making and subscribing a false and fraudulent tax return.
According to the court documents, from 2012 through 2016, Lee who at certain times was an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee, prepared and filed tax returns for other individuals that contained false and fraudulent statements. Lee also filed false information regarding her taxable income on her personal tax returns. In her role as a tax preparer, Lee would put false information on the customers’ tax return and submit the returns to the IRS.
As part of this scheme, Lee obtained the identification of multiple individuals and falsely listed these individuals as child care providers on multiple customer’s tax returns. Lee also falsely reported her own income related to the payments she received for tax preparation services on her personal tax returns for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015.
At sentencing, Lee faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the wire fraud counts; three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the aiding and assisting in the preparation and representation of a false and fraudulent return counts; three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the making and subscribing a false tax return counts; and a two-year mandatory minimum sentence and a $250,000 fine for the aggravated identity theft counts.
Source: The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Cal., Verdict, filed Jan. 26, 2023; and E.D. Cal., Indict., filed Apr. 11, 2019.