- Associated Press - Thursday, November 23, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - An income tax preparer who filed fraudulent returns on behalf of her clients has been sentenced to more than a year in prison.

Shirley Arias, also known as Shirley Zambrano, received a 13-month sentence this week. The 43-year-old Fair Lawn resident had pleaded guilty in April to aiding and assisting others in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns, causing the government losses of more than $130,000.

Arias was an owner and operator of Santos & Associates in Union City.

Federal prosecutors say that for the tax years 2012-2014, Arias assisted in the filing of returns based on false information. She used a number of fraudulent practices, including falsely claiming deductions and fabricating educational credits to get refunds for her clients that were greater than they should have received.

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