Orlando women convicted of preparing 3,600 fake tax returns, grossing $1.4 million

Two Orlando women have been convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States Internal Revenue Service after filing over 3,600 fraudulent tax returns for multiple years

Erotida Natasha Harden Ortiz and Aida Cortes were found guilty by a federal jury on multiple charges, including one count each of conspiracy to defraud, on Monday, October 24.

According to court records, Ortiz owned and operated Certified Taxes, LLC, and hired Cortes as the company’s office manager. From 2016 to 2018, Ortiz and Cortes perpetrated a scheme to file fraudulent Schedule C forms on behalf of taxpayers that showed the taxpayers had incurred business losses.

By showing business losses, the individuals qualified for the Earned Income Tax credit and received refunds that they shouldn’t have.

Evidence showed that the company never showed tax returns to the individuals for review prior to filing them with the IRS.

In total, records showed that the company filed more than 3,600 tax returns with the IRS, with only one tax return resulting in a taxpayer owing money to the IRS. Certified Taxes charged $400 for each return, resulting in more than $1,000,000 in tax preparation fees.

The women were indicted this past April and will be sentenced in January 2023.

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