Scott Ellis 9:46 p.m., April 22
Ex-IRS Agent Turned Tax Preparer Nailed for Laundering
Steven Martinez, a former Internal Revenue Service agent who has been running a tax preparation business, was arrested today (April 15) and charged with 49 counts including mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, making false tax returns, and money laundering. The indictment charges Martinez with stealing more than $11 million in tax payments that should have been sent to the IRS. Martinez would present his clients with completed tax returns and then persuade them to write checks payable to a trust account rather than to the IRS or California Franchise Tax Board. Then, according to the indictment, he steered the money into his own accounts which he used to fuel an extravagant lifestyle, which included a multi-million dollar home in Ramona.
Also today, John Leonard Camilo pleaded guilty using various tricks to defraud the IRS out of $800,000 between 2004 and 2010 on behalf of clients. Among other things, Camilo created false businesses which allegedly suffered losses.