WOODBURN, Ore. -- A Woodburn man was convicted of filing false tax returns in other peoples' names and keeping more than $47,000 for himself, the U.S. Dept. of Justice announced.
Job G. Lopez, 58, pleaded guilty Friday to making false claims to the Internal Revenue Service for tax refund money, according to Sue Rutledge, with the DOJ. Lopez admitted to preparing and submitting amended income tax returns in his clients' names to get the refunds.
He did so without his clients' knowledge, using their names, signatures and Social Security numbers without approval, Rutledge said.
"Lopez then forged his clients’ endorsements on the tax refund checks and deposited the money into his own personal bank account," she added. "Most of his clients are Hispanic migrant workers who relied on him for his purported tax expertise."
Lopez operated out of Woodburn and was not a licensed tax preparer.
“Mr. Lopez manipulated his clients to steal from all of us,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “Con artists like Lopez will be held to account.”
Lopez faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He agreed to pay full restitution, in the amount of $47,489, to the IRS. His sentencing was scheduled for April.