A Southern California tax return preparer, Matthew Carl Berry, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS pursuant to 18 U.S.C 371, and three counts of filing false federal income tax returns. According to the indictment among other things Berry prepared false documents to be used in IRS tax audits. According to the press release issued by the Department of Justice Tax Division’s criminal tax attorneys, Berry prepared fraudulent tax returns by claiming mortgage interest deductions for taxpayers who did not own homes. Berry faces up to 5 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy conviction, and another three years for the criminal tax convictions for filing false income tax returns. Berry could also be subject to civil tax preparer penalties pursuant to Internal Revenue Code § 6694.