A central Iowa tax preparer will spend nearly four years in prison after being found guilty of illegal activity.
Forty-eight-year-old Lony Gatwas of Ames was convicted by a jury of four counts of wire fraud, seven counts of aggravated identity theft, and seven counts of preparing and presenting false tax returns. The convictions came in a trial where he was accused of a tax scheme where he paid clients at his tax preparation business in Des Moines to inflate their refunds by adding false dependents on their tax returns.
He was sentenced to 21 months on the wire and tax fraud charges and was given a 24 month sentence for aggravated identity theft to be served after the first sentence. The judge also ordered Gatwas to pay $132,000 in restitution to the IRS. He will have to serve three years of supervised release following his imprisonment, and pay $1,800 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.