Listen, if you're going to file fraudulent tax returns, try not to kill anyone in the process.
A San Diego tax preparer is facing federal charges for filing over $11 million in fraudulent tax returns and has now added a new charge to his ever-growing list of screw ups: witness tampering.
You see, when 50-year-old CPA and former IRS agent Steven Martinez found out two former clients were going to testify against him in the federal case, he decided he'd hire his former employee to kill them for $100,000 in cash. To make sure this acquaintance of his could do the deed, Martinez provided photos of the to-be-whacked and suggested using a silenced gun, lest anyone get suspicious about the sound of gunshots. One client on the hit list was 86 years old. It is assumed that this elderly client earned $200,046 in 2006, only $32,900 of which was reported to the IRS by Martinez.
A grand jury charged Martinez with filing false tax returns, money laundering, identity theft, mail fraud and other criminal counts in April, at which point Martinez apparently started checking out his friends list for a pal willing to wack the two snitches ready to spill the details of Martinez's sloppy thievery.
To perpetrate his crimes, Martinez allegedly presented his tax clients with returns which showed substantial amounts owed to the IRS, which he would then divert into his personal accounts so he could file fake returns for these clients which reflected smaller amounts. Genius, really, until it caught up to him. Maybe it was the millions of dollars that did it.
Martinez was out on bail until a March 19th pretrial hearing before he was arrested last week for the murder-for-hire plot.
Note: this guy is doing it wrong, kids. Way wrong. Don't even try to attempt this at home.