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Ramsey Tax Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Tax Crimes

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Ramsey man has been sentenced to six months in prison followed by one year of supervised release and restitution for operating a tax preparation business as cover for a tax fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, Lyle Nierenz, 70, ran tax preparation businesses-called Fast-R-Tax and Lyle's Tax Service-out of his home in Ramsey, Minnesota. Nierenz prepared and filed numerous income tax returns falsely claiming that his clients had significant tax-deductible charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee expenses, or unreimbursed business expenses. Nierenz did this without his clients' knowledge or permission to fraudulently inflate their returns. He then diverted a portion of the inflated refunds to his personal bank accounts.

To avoid detection, Nierenz repeatedly made it appear that his clients self-filed their fraudulent returns. He also provided many of his clients with a doctored copy of their tax returns that matched the refund the client actually received. Between tax years 2014 and 2018, Nierenz's fraudulent return scheme resulted in a tax loss of approximately $336,000. Nierenz also repeatedly failed to declare on his own tax returns the income he generated by charging his clients for tax preparation.

On July 28, 2021, Nierenz pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns and one count of making and subscribing a false tax return. He was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court by Judge Donovan W. Frank.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigations and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jordan L. Sing and Joseph H. Thompson prosecuted the case.


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