August 14, 2022

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Local tax return preparer indicted for fraud

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The owner and operator of The Tax Company in Corpus Christi is set to appear in federal court on charges of tax fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Berlinda Luikens is charged in a 41-count indictment returned March 9. She is set to appear for her arraignment today at 10 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Julie K. Hampton.

The charges allege she submitted false Form 1040 tax returns by including fraudulent Schedule C and Schedule F items, including fictitious businesses. This resulted in higher tax refund amounts her clients were not entitled to receive, according to the charges.

Luikens allegedly caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue loss.

“IRS – Criminal Investigation (CI) takes the job of investigating criminal violations of our nation’s tax laws seriously because tax fraud steals from programs that help every American,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Rodrick Benton. “We will continue working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners to help identify suspected tax criminals and protect taxpayers’ money.”

If convicted, Luikens faces up to three years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine for each count of conviction.

IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marck is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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