Palm Beach County Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Returns and Theft of Government Funds

A West Palm Beach tax return preparer was sentenced to 90 months in prison on Friday for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns and theft of government funds, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.

According to the evidence presented at trial, from at least 2012 to 2016, Paul Senat was the owner and operator of multiple tax return preparation businesses in Palm Beach and surrounding areas. Through the businesses, Senat falsified his clients’ returns by reporting fictitious business losses and education credits in order to fraudulently inflate their refunds.  Senat also stole a federal tax refund check worth nearly $10,000.

A federal jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida convicted Senat on Nov. 6, 2019.  Following the jury verdict, Senat was taken into custody.

At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz found that Senat caused a tax loss of more than $3.5 million to the United States. 

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Ruiz ordered Senat to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $9,779 in restitution to the United States.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Alexander Effendi and Lauren Archer of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.

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Author: February 24, 2020

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