A Costa Mesa tax return preparer was sentenced Monday to 30 months in prison for falsifying federal income taxes on behalf of his clients so they would receive inflated returns, according to the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigations office.

Ronald Vernon Strawn, 69, pleaded guilty last year to three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns, according to a news release from the IRS.

Strawn admitted to filing falsified federal tax returns in 2005 and 2006 on behalf of two clients. Those returns included fake business losses that underreported income by as much as $200,000.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney ordered Strawn to pay just under $2 million in restitution to the IRS and submit to a year of supervised release after his time behind bars.

Strawn has been in custody since his 2012 arrest in Arizona.

The original indictment included 50 counts of tax-related crimes against Strawn, who had a lengthy career counseling clients and preparing their taxes, according to the IRS.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck