CEDAR RAPIDS – A tax preparer from the Congo has been sentenced to one year in federal prison for filing false tax returns in Iowa to increase clients’ tax refunds.
Serge Cibuyi, age 49, a naturalized United States citizen originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo received the prison term after an October 25, 2018, guilty plea to one count of preparing and filing a false and fraudulent tax return, in violation of federal law.
In a plea agreement, Cibuyi admitted that, while living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he received an online certificate in tax-return preparation. Cibuyi admitted that when preparing returns for customers, he prepared fraudulent tax returns by claiming false deductions and credits or by inflating legitimate deductions and credits. As part of the scheme, Cibuyi paid individuals to allow Cibuyi to use their dependents on other taxpayers’ returns to boost refunds. Between 2014 and 2015, Cibuyi prepared and filed at least 36 false tax returns with a tax loss to the United States in excess of $100,000.
Cibuyi was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Defendant was sentenced to twelve months and one day imprisonment. He must also serve a one year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Cibuyi was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Lightfoot and Matthew J. Cole and investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.