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Tax Preparer Family Sentenced

Fraud signsThree tax preparers who are members of a Texas family have each been sentenced to multi-year prison terms. The father. Hugo Cesar Granados, manager of Columbia Tax Service, drew 14 years in prison, the longest term.

His daughter, Blanca L. Granados, was sentenced to six years eight months in prison; his son, Hugo Alberto Granados, to five and a half years.

 The three were convicted in August of conspiracy to defraud the United States and multiple counts of aiding in the preparation and presentation of false documents. They were found to have routinely doctored client tax returns to boost refunds. At the trial, prosecutors described the company’s tax preparation manual as a handbook that outlined exactly how to commit fraud.

Saul Garcia-Soto, a Columbia Tax employee who plead guilty prior to trial, testified in 2016 employees met with Hugo C. Granados becuase clients were not receiving their refunds from the IRS.

 The elder Granados asked employees if they thought the company was doing something illegal. Garcia-Soto reported that he, Blanca Granados, and Hugo A. Granados each replied Columbia Tax was doing something illegal. 

Hugh C. Granados smiled and returned to working on his computer, Garcia-Soto said.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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