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Preparer Obtained Loans by Fraud

A Lawrence, Mass.-tax preparer has pleaded guilty to a obtaining a $2.1-million SBA loan by fraud. Luz Paulino, who was a fugitive in Panama for 19 months while on pre-trial release, admitted her crimes in a federal court in Boston.

Paulino pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy, one count of bank fraud, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Proceeds from the loans were used for such things as buying a 2020 Cadillac for $86,000 and wiring more than $395,000 to a jewelry business in the Dominican Republic.

She owned and operated Agape Financial Services, based in Lowell, Mass., which offered tax preparation and notary services. According to court records, she used names of two former employees as preparers on tax returns she prepared. These returns included a variety of false information in order to obtain refunds.

She used refunds to obtain Refund Advance Loans in the names of the victims, and then used false IDs and forged signatures to cash checks.

Stolen identities of residents of California, Michigan, Indiana and elsewhere to obtain the $2.1 million COVID-19 Emergency Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Before June 2020 and October 2021, her applications listed fictitious companies that had suffered lost revenue

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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