Crime

Independence tax service owner sentenced for filing over 1,000 false returns

File photo of court documents and a gavel on a desk.
File photo of court documents and a gavel on a desk.

The former owner of an Independence tax preparation business was sentenced in federal court Friday for preparing more than 1,000 false tax returns.

Monique Hernandez, 52, and her daughter Robyne Warburton, 33, owned and operated Complete Tax Service in Independence from 2013 until 2016, according to prosecutors.

In August 2018, Hernandez and Warburton were indicted on counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and fraud and false statements.

According to the indictments, the women reported false deductions or business expenses for their clients. They also allegedly encouraged clients to claim false gross receipts or sales on business profits or losses.

In total, prosecutors claim the pair filed 1,014 false returns causing the government to lose $692,000.

The women pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

Hernandez will serve four years and six months in federal prison. She was also ordered to pay $129,748 in restitution.

Warburton’s case is still pending.

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.
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