68ºF

Local tax preparer indicted after allegedly filing false tax returns

HOUSTON – An area tax preparer faces 27 federal charges alleging he prepared false tax returns.

A federal grand jury in Houston indicted Doyle J. Blevins Jr. and he is expected to turn himself in Monday, a federal source tells Local 2 Investigates.

Court paperwork alleges Blevins operated Total Refund Tax Service. The indictment alleges he prepared dozens of incorrect client tax returns from 2008 to 2010.

Prosecutors allege he included bogus "side business" losses so he could get excessive refunds for his clients totaling $270,000.

He faces up to three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge.

"We take unscrupulous return preparers very seriously," Lucy Cruz, IRS special agent in charge of the Houston office, said.

She suggests people ask their tax preparer questions. The preparer and the customer should go over each line of the return before anyone signs the documents, she says.

Most times, when tax preparers commit fraud, they do it without the customer knowing, she says.

Avoid using someone who charges you based on a percentage of your refund and check the account and routing numbers on your tax documents to make sure they are correct, Cruz recommends.