2 O.C. tax preparers charged in reported illegal tax refund scheme – Orange County Register

SANTA ANA — Two Orange County tax preparers pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court to colluding with a social worker in an alleged tax refund scheme.

Anton Nguyen, 53, of Fountain Valley, and Rosemary Pham, 64, of Midway City, were charged in indictments on May 11 with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Nguyen was also charged with three counts of making false claims against the United States for the payment of federal income tax refunds and Pham is charged with 10 counts of aiding and advising the filing of false tax returns.

The two were accused along with John Tran of Fountain Valley, who pleaded guilty in November 2019 to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. with respect to claims, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Tran is awaiting sentencing on July 25, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The three are accused of using stolen identities to get money from federal, state and county governments, prosecutors said.

Nguyen owned Westminster-based Century Travel & Tax, and Pham owned Victory Tax Service in Westminster.

Nguyen and Pham are accused of filing bogus federal income tax returns with stolen identities provided by Tran, prosecutors said. The two also allegedly made it appear the identity theft victims worked for some clients of Nguyen and Pham and qualified for welfare, prosecutors said. In exchange for fabricating tax forms, Nguyen’s and Pham’s involved clients allegedly kicked back a fee, prosecutors said.

The three filed 433 tax returns using the stolen identities to generate at least $973,153 in fraudulent tax refunds, prosecutors alleged.

Trial was scheduled for July 26.