The owner/operator of a Palmdale tax preparation business faces trial March 7 on federal charges that he prepared and filed phony federal income tax returns on behalf of his clients.

Oscar D. Alcerro Jr., 31, owner of Juniors Tax Service Inc., was arrested this week by special agents with the Internal Revenue Service on an indictment returned last month by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Following his arrest, Alcerro was arraigned in federal court and released on a $25,000 bond. As a condition of his release, Alcerro was ordered not to prepare tax returns.

The 31-count indictment charges Alcerro with aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns. Each count carries a possible maximum penalty of three years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense.

The indictment alleges that from 2010 through 2013, Alcerro prepared and filed returns that claimed false itemized deductions on behalf of 11 clients. The taxpayers for whom the tax returns were prepared were not entitled to claim the deductions on the tax returns, which were filed without them knowing about the fraudulent deductions, according to the government.

The fraudulent tax returns included false deductions for personal property taxes, mortgage interest expense, gifts to charity and unreimbursed employee expenses, federal prosecutors allege.

In one instance, the false deductions taken on the tax return totaled more than $57,500.

“Tax return preparers who are involved in the filing of false tax returns victimize their clients and the United States Treasury,” said Eileen M. Decker, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. “With the start of the 2017 filing season upon us, taxpayers should know that the Justice Department will hold these return preparers accountable for their conduct.”