Preparing false tax returns charged

A former tax preparer was arrested Wednesday on 26 counts alleging she helped prepare false 2014 tax returns.

Nicole Rapoza, who is also known as Myrtle A. Gomes, was arrested in Lahaina by state Department of Taxation special agents and sheriff’s deputies, according to a news release from the Department of Taxation.

She was set to be arraigned today in 2nd Circuit Court on the charges. Her bail was set at $5,000.

If convicted of the charges, Rapoza faces up to three years in jail or probation and a fine of up to $100,000.

She was previously convicted in 2016 of filing false and fraudulent 2012 and 2013 tax returns, according to the news release.

“The department will hold abusive tax preparers accountable for their egregious actions,” said Linda Chu Takayama, director of the Department of Taxation.

The investigation was coordinated by the Department of Public Safety, Department of Attorney General and Department of Taxation.