Lake Worth tax preparer accused of bilking $11 million from IRS – News – The Palm Beach Post

The West Palm Beach man was released on a $1 million bond and faces a maximum 12-year sentence if convicted.

WEST PALM BEACH – A Lake Worth tax preparer is accused of bilking the Internal Revenue Service out of $11 million by filing phony returns for his clients and in some cases funneling the tax refunds into his own account.

Paul Senat, 38, who opened American Justices Services and Tax on South Dixie Highway in 2010, was released on a $1 million bond this week.

The West Palm Beach man is to be back in U.S. District Court on Monday to be arraigned on various charges, including theft of government money, aggravated identity theft and 11 counts of preparing false tax returns.

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Senat inflated his customers’ tax refunds by fabricating bogus business losses or claiming nonexistent education expenses, federal prosecutors said in court papers. He got rich by forcing customers to share their refunds with him, they said.

In addition to charging customers to prepare their returns, he took $1,000 from each refund and gave his clients the remaining money, prosecutors said. In one case, he forged a signature on a $9,800 tax refund check and put the money in his own bank account.

If convicted, Senat faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.