A Valley Village tax return preparer pleaded guilty to defrauding the Internal Revenue Service of $1.5 million by filing more than 200 false returns.

Jose Magpantay Ramirez, 72, faces a total maximum penalty of 150 years in prison and a fine of up to $2.7 million when sentenced Nov. 7 by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee.

Ramirez operated a tax preparation business from his Valley home and between February 2006 until about March 2009 he and others fraudulently received tax refund checks in the name of third parties, according to the IRS.

On the fake returns Ramirez listed, or had others list, bogus expenses and deductions that generated a false refund. The refund checks were mailed to Ramirez’s Valley address or other addresses associated with Ramirez, the IRS said.

The checks were deposited into bank accounts in the name of his business, the IRS said.

Special Agent Felicia McCain, public information officer for the criminal division of the IRS, could not comment on other individuals involved in the case.

Mark R. Madler