Livingston tax preparer guilty of tax evasion

May 27, 2013 

— A 54-year-old Livingston tax preparer pleaded guilty Monday to one count of tax evasion and one count of structuring bank transactions to conceal her income, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Prosecutors say Nohemi Villarreal Noriega, a Patterson resident, prepared tax returns through her business, Villarreal's Business Services, in Livingston.

In 2006-07, she evaded payment of her own taxes, totaling more than $167,000, according to Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for Wagner's office.

In addition, Noriega admitted that she structured more than $1 million of withdrawals from her bank accounts in amounts designed to avoid filing currency transactions reports, which might have disclosed her unreported income, according to Horwood.

In addition to pleading guilty to the offenses, Noriega agreed that $188,900 seized from her home during execution of a search warrant could be used to help pay restitution she owes the Internal Revenue Service.

This case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark J. McKeon and Heather Jones prosecuted the case.

Noriega is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 5. She faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the tax evasion conviction as well as a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for the structuring charge.

The actual sentence will be determined by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill.

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