Connie Cozzolino, tax preparer and owner of Connie’s Tax Services, was sentenced today to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay restitution for economic loss to all victims, which will be determined at a later date, and a fine totaling $16,500. She was operating a scheme of knowingly preparing Arizona income tax returns that included improper, inflated, and/or fictitious itemized deductions to increase tax refunds for her clients without their knowledge or consent.
The State Grand Jury had previously indicted Cozzolino, along with employees Richard Luttrull and Jennifer Lohss, on charges of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Illegal Control of an Enterprise, Forgery, and 24 counts of Preparing False Tax Returns for allegedly constructing Arizona Personal Income Tax Returns that contained fraudulent information for tax years 2012-2018. On June 8, 2022, Cozzolino plead no contest to one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a class 2 felony, committed between 2013 and 2019, and two counts of Preparing a False Return, a class 5 felony, for providing misreported tax returns that were submitted to the Arizona Department of Revenue between 2016 and 2019. Additionally, Cozzolino stipulated that she will not prepare taxes for compensation going forward.
Earlier this year, in separate cases, Luttrull and Lohss each plead guilty to two counts of Preparing False Return, a class 5 felony, for producing distorted tax returns that were submitted to the Arizona Department of Revenue, also between 2016 and 2019.
The Arizona Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Unit investigated the case with assistance from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.