A central Iowa tax preparer has been found guilty of preparing false returns.

A jury convicted 48-year-old Lony Gatwas of Ames of 4 counts of wire fraud, 7 counts of aggravated identity theft, and 7 counts of preparing and presenting false tax returns.

Evidence presented at the trial showed Gatwas listed his own children on the tax returns of clients to increase the refunds they would get back from the IRS. Gatwas charged the clients an average of $1,500 for each false dependent.

The court information says he also asked at least two clients to lie when they were audited.

Gatwas is scheduled to be sentenced on December 1st. Preparing and presenting a false tax return is punishable by a maximum of three years imprisonment and a maximum $100,000 fine.

The crime of wire fraud has a maximum prison term of 20 years and up to a $250,000 fine. Gatwas faces a minimum prison term of two years and up to a $250,000 fine for the crime of aggravated identity theft.