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Highlights - 2011 Archive

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2004


December 25, 2011

Individual Sentenced for Unauthorized Access to a Computer

On November 14, 2011, in California, Valerie Walker was sentenced to 12 months’ probation, fined $1,000, and ordered to pay a $25 special assessment fee for accessing private information on a work computer without authorization. [1]

According to court documents, while employed at the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) as a Senior Compliance Representative, Walker exceeded her authority by intentionally accessing private taxpayer information. [2]

The electronically stored Federal tax information was provided to the FTB by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). [3]

Walker researched Federal tax returns, Social Security Numbers and addresses of seven individuals when she had no legitimate business reason to do so. [4]

Individual Convicted For Filing False Liens Against Public Officials

On November 29, 2011, in the State of Washington, Ronald James Davenport was convicted on four counts of filing false retaliatory liens against employees of the U.S. Government. [5]

According to the indictment, in December 2009, Davenport filed false liens and encumbrances against the real and personal property of four U.S. Government employees. Davenport falsely claimed that the employees owed him $5,184,000,000. He was aware that each lien contained fictitious and fraudulent statements. Davenport filed the liens in retaliation against Federal employees for performing their official duties. [6]

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division. [7] Sentencing is scheduled for a future date. [8]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Judgment filed Nov. 18. 2011.
  • [2] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed June 20, 2011.
  • [3] E.D. Cal. Info. filed Mar. 14, 2011.
  • [4] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed June 20, 2011.
  • [5] E.D. Wash. Jury Verdict filed Nov. 30, 2011.
  • [6] E.D. Wash. Indict. filed June 22, 2010.
  • [7] Id.
  • [8] E.D. Wash. Sentencing Order filed Dec. 5, 2011.
December 18, 2011

Colorado Man Sentenced for Impeding Internal Revenue Administration

On November 15, 2011, in Colorado, Gary Neuger was sentenced to 24-months imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release. Neuger was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $393,791, as well as a special assessment fee of $200. Additionally, Neuger must complete a mental health treatment program for filing a false tax return and impeding internal revenue administration. [1]

According to court documents, Neuger admitted that he willfully filed false tax returns and took various steps to impede collections by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In 1997, Neuger stopped paying his Federal income taxes. The IRS then initiated several attempts to collect his outstanding taxes. It was at this time that Neuger began protesting the Federal tax system and seeking to harass and impede the IRS’s collection efforts. [2]

From May, 2000 until November 2008, Neuger sent over one dozen threatening letters to the IRS. Throughout this time period, he filed several lawsuits against IRS employees both in Federal and State court and threatened employees with arrest. He also sought summonses against IRS employees protesting the levying of Federal taxes. [3]

In 2003, Neuger filed a fabricated default judgment. In it, he falsely claimed that he had won a lawsuit against the IRS in Federal court and demanded damages. In furtherance of his cause, Neuger filed lawsuits against any business that complied with the IRS levies and sought to have the business owners arrested. [4]

Maryland Man Receives Second Conviction for Filing False Returns

On November 18, 2011, in Maryland, Andrew Isaac Chance was convicted of filing a false retaliatory lien against a government employee and for filing three false claims against the United States for income tax refunds. [5]

According to the Indictment, Chance was convicted by a Federal jury in 2007 for filing a false IRS Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, for tax year 2005. Chance claimed a false refund in the amount of $306,753. Consequently, he served 27 months in Federal prison. In 2009, he was released. [6]

Shortly after his release from prison, Chance filed a false lien against the Federal prosecutor from his 2007 case. He alleged that the prosecutor owed him $1.3 billion. A year after filing the retaliatory lien, Chance subsequently filed three false returns with the IRS seeking refunds for the tax years 2007, 2008, and 2009. With these filings, Chance sought a total of $900,000. He once again falsified IRS Form 1041, which had previously resulted in his 2007 conviction. These filings resulted in his second conviction for this crime. [7]

New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Extortion Conspiracy

On November 28, 2011, in New Jersey, Robert G. Cusic, Jr. pled guilty in Federal court to conspiracy to commit extortion under threatened fear of economic harm. [8]

According to court documents, Cusic conspired with New Jersey attorney Thomas G. Frey and others to extort money and property from victims. Cusic and Frey falsely alleged to the victims that they were the subjects of a criminal investigation by the IRS. While at a property owned by one of the victims, Cusic claimed that he had encountered two IRS special agents who questioned him extensively about the victims. [9]

Frey falsely informed the victims that he had ongoing communications and a unique relationship with one of the special agents investigating the matter. Additionally, the victims were informed that if each one of them paid Frey a $10,000 retainer fee, he would contact the special agent and cause the investigation to be converted from a criminal investigation to an IRS “desk audit.” By changing the nature of the investigation, the matter would no longer be considered criminal in nature. The co-conspirators further attempted to assure the victims that after the matter was converted to a “desk audit,” Frey’s family member, an IRS employee, would assist him in obtaining a favorable outcome of the audit. [10]

  • [1] D. Co. Judgment filed Nov. 22, 2011.
  • [2] D. Co. Reporter’s Transcript (Sentencing Hearing: Order).
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] Id.
  • [5] D. Md. Verdict Form filed Nov. 18, 2011.
  • [6] D. Md. Indict. filed Dec. 13, 2010.
  • [7] Id.
  • [8] D. N.J. Plea Agr. filed Nov. 28, 2011.
  • [9] D. N.J. Criminal Comp. filed Apr. 8, 2011.
  • [10] Id.
December 11, 2011

California Woman Sentenced for Unauthorized Inspection of Returns or Return Information

On November 3, 2011, in California, Barbara Gwin was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a fine of $600 and a $25 penalty assessment for the unauthorized inspection of returns or return information. [1]

According to court documents, Gwin accessed, without authorization, electronically stored Federal tax information on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) electronic system. She knowingly and intentionally inspected tax returns or return information in violation of Federal law while serving as an IRS Tax Examining Clerk. Gwin pleaded guilty to count one as charged. [2]

  • [1] S.D. Ohio Crim. Sentencing Minutes filed Aug. 31, 2011.
  • [2] S.D. Ohio Indict. filed Oct. 5, 2010.
December 4, 2011

Florida Man Sentenced for Assaulting Internal Revenue Service Employees

On October 20, 2011, in Florida, David Robbins was sentenced to three years of probation, with substance abuse and mental health treatments as special conditions of his release, for assaulting and impeding Federal employees who were engaged in the performance of their official duties. [1]

On February 7, 2011, Mr. Robbins walked into the Sarasota Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office during business hours with a briefcase, a remote control and a box protruding from underneath his shirt. Mr. Robbins pronounced, “Don’t bother I’ve got a bomb.” He further asserted, “I do not want to hurt anyone, but violence is the only way to get my statement across.” Mr. Robbins then sat on the briefcase. While holding the remote control in his hand, he proclaimed that our country is in trouble and he wanted to make a statement before the news media. [2]

Mr. Robbins then directed that “No one leave the office.” This action caused the security officer to draw his firearm and to command Mr. Robbins not to move. A Special Agent assisted the officer in convincing Mr. Robbins to let everyone in the office leave. Due to Mr. Robbins’ actions, IRS employees working in the office as well as taxpayers who were present had to evacuate the building. The briefcase was found to be non-explosive. It contained a Bible and other documents. [3]

  • [1] M.D. Fla. Judgment filed Oct. 28, 2011.
  • [2] M.D. Fla. Plea Agr. filed Oct. 19, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
November 27, 2011

California Man Sentenced for Filing False Liens or Encumbrances Against United States Employees

On October 26, 2011, in Nevada, Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao was sentenced to 41 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a special assessment fee of $600 for filing false liens and encumbrances against United States (U.S) employees. [1] Cao pleaded guilty to six counts of the indictment. [2] Each count carried 41 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release; however, all six counts will be served concurrently. [3]

According to the plea agreement, Cao filed 22 false liens and encumbrances against U.S. employees in retaliation for performing official duties involving him. The victims included two U.S. Magistrate Judges, two U.S. District Judges, and four Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agents. [4]

Beginning in February 2007 until July 2010, Cao was involved in various matters concerning Federal courts and Federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, the U.S. Secret Service, and the IRS. In addition to these proceedings, Cao was under investigation by IRS-CI regarding tax returns he prepared and filed with the IRS. He submitted these returns for himself and his clients, which returns claimed large refunds on Federal individual and corporate income tax returns. These filings were based upon fictitious income tax withholdings. [5]

In response to the proceedings and investigations, Cao filed public record liens and encumbrances against the real and personal property of the victims. Cao knew when he filed the documents that each lien or encumbrance contained false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements, including that each victim was a “debtor” who owed Cao a large sum of money. He falsely claimed that each judge was a “debtor” to him in the amount of $300,000,000. Finally, Cao claimed that the IRS-CI Special Agents were “debtors” to him in the amount of at least $100,000,000. [6]

  • [1] D. Nev. Judgment filed Oct. 26, 2011.
  • [2] D. Nev. Plea Agr. filed June 7, 2011.
  • [3] D. Nev. Judgment filed Oct. 26, 2011.
  • [4] D. Utah Judgment filed Oct. 20, 2011.
  • [5] Id.
  • [6] Id.
November 20, 2011

Myran Butler Sentenced for Misusing the Department of the Treasury’s Symbol

On October 19, 2011, in Utah, Myran Butler was sentenced to seven months imprisonment, a 12-month term of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a special assessment fee of $25. Mr. Butler was convicted of one count of misusing the Department of the Treasury’s symbol. [1]

According to court documents, Butler knowingly used, in connection with his business, the words, “Department of the Treasury,” or the “Internal Revenue Service” (IRS), in a manner that could be reasonably interpreted as falsely conveying that such business activity was approved and authorized by the Department of the Treasury or the IRS. [2]

Butler falsely made and provided a client an IRS Form 668-D, Release of Levy/Release of Property of Levy. He created the replica document by altering an official form. The false Form 668-D contained a forged signature of an IRS tax specialist. Butler also provided the form to his client as proof that proceedings with the IRS had been completed. [3]

  • [1] D. Utah Judgment filed Oct. 20, 2011.
  • [2] D. Utah Misdemeanor Info. filed Feb. 3, 2011.
  • [3] D. Utah Stat. by Defendant in Advance of Plea of Guilty filed June 15, 2011.
November 13, 2011

Internal Revenue Service Revenue Officer Sentenced for Stealing Approximately $160,000 in Taxpayer Funds

On October 21, 2011, in New York, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Officer Fern Stephens was sentenced to six-months imprisonment after pleading guilty to mail fraud, theft of government funds, and unlawfully accessing a government computer. Stephens was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following imprisonment, and to pay $160,863 in restitution. [1]

Stephens was employed by the IRS from January 1984 through December 2010. She served as an IRS Revenue Officer since the early 1990s and, in that capacity, she was responsible for collecting Federal taxes from individuals and corporations. As a condition of her employment, she was required to sign an annual certification stating that she would not access taxpayer records in IRS databases except in connection with her official duties. [2]

From March 2003 through November 2010, Stephens used her position as a Revenue Officer to steal taxpayer funds held by the IRS by devising a scheme involving the use of an IRS database. Stephens’ scheme included making false computer entries that documented alleged requests to transfer corporate or business entity tax refunds or payments. Her actions caused the IRS to issue checks, and credits to her relatives and close associates. Stephens caused approximately 20 fraudulent credit transfers, from approximately 14 taxpayer victims, to be sent to eight of her relatives or close associates. [3]

  • [1] S.D.N.Y. Judgment filed Oct. 25, 2011.
  • [2] S.D.N.Y. Indict. filed Dec.13, 2010.
  • [3] Id.
November 6, 2011

Carole Cotton Sentenced for Assaulting a TIGTA Special Agent

On October 19, 2011, in Florida, Carole Cotton was sentenced to 12-months probation and ordered to participate in an approved mental health treatment program for assaulting a TIGTA Special Agent. [1]

After receiving a collection letter on May 12, 2011, Cotton telephoned the Internal Revenue Service. During the phone call, she threatened to shoot anyone who stepped onto her property. [2]

On May 18, 2011, a TIGTA Special Agent visited Cotton's residence to question her about the telephone statement she made. After identifying himself as a Federal agent with the Department of the Treasury, Cotton responded, "Hold on, let me go get my gun." She then turned to re-enter her home. Cotton was then restrained until she calmed down. Later on, she was allowed back into her residence. Upon entering her home, Cotton went to a cabinet, removed a golf club and threw it at the agent. Cotton was then taken into custody. [3]

  • [1] S.D. Fla. J. filed Oct. 24, 2011.
  • [2] S.D. Fla. Crim. Compl. filed May 19, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
October 30, 2011

Woman Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Interfere With Internal Revenue Service Laws

On October 11, 2011, Andrea Longenecker entered a guilty plea in open court. [1]

According to court documents, on July 18, 2010, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Andrea Longenecker endeavored to obstruct and impede the administration of internal revenue laws by forging a letter and then e-mailing the letter to her employer.

Ms. Longenecker falsely identified the letter as correspondence from the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Taxpayer Advocate Service indicating that the wage levy issued against her had been released. [2]

Ms. Longenecker pled guilty to one count of Attempting to Interfere with Internal Revenue Laws. [3] She will be sentenced at a future date.

  • [1] M.D. Pa. Motion to Withdraw Plea filed Oct. 11, 2011.
  • [2] M.D. Pa. Motion to Withdraw Plea filed Oct. 11, 2011.
  • [3] M.D. Pa. Motion to Withdraw Plea filed Oct. 11, 2011.
October 16, 2011

Mark Leitner Sentenced for Obstructing and Impeding the Due Administration of the Internal Revenue Laws and Filing False Liens Against Federal Employees

On September 30, 2011, in Florida, Mark Leitner was sentenced to 30 months in prison for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws and filing false liens against Federal employees. [1]

Leitner filed false liens against numerous Federal employees. Liens were recorded against the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, the previous clerk of court, several Assistant U.S. Attorneys, department trial attorneys, and an Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent who prosecuted him for tax fraud in 2010. [2]

Throughout the jury trial and after his conviction, Leitner filed false maritime liens against the property of court and law enforcement personnel involved in his criminal trial. The false liens claimed that Leitner was owed $48.489 billion from each individual. Five of the seven false liens disclosed personal identifying information and the individual’s Social Security Numbers. [3]

Leitner will serve his prison sentence consecutively to the five-year prison sentence he received for a 2010 conviction for tax fraud. [4]

  • [1] N.D. Fla. Criminal Minutes filed Sep. 30, 2011.
  • [2] N.D. Fla. Info. filed July 18, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] Id. See also Case No. 3:08cr00079MCR; N.D. Fla. J. filed Aug 7, 2010.
October 9, 2011

Former Stockbroker Sentenced for Mail and Wire Fraud

On September 8, 2011, in California, Ronald Moschella pled guilty to five counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud. He was sentenced to serve 63 months in prison, three years of probation, and ordered to pay $2,016,130 in restitution and a $700 special assessment fee. [1]

From February 2007 until 2010, Moschella defrauded his investors’ money by using false and fraudulent pretenses. Moschella used his experience as a former stockbroker and represented himself to his investors as a skilled investment adviser who had access to exceptional investment opportunities. [2]

While the specific investment opportunities offered to his investors were diverse, Moschella’s schemes involved similar fraudulent promises and representations. He informed potential investors that their funds would be invested as he had promised. Moschella explained to his investors that investment opportunities had established records of success, a guaranteed rate of return, and there was no risk to their principal assets. Moschella crafted and sent fraudulent e-mails as well as other documents to support his false explanation for the delay in returning funds demanded by investors. Such documents included e-mails from a fictitious E-Trade manager and correspondence that falsely appeared to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding a levy which was placed on an investor’s E-Trade account. Additionally, there were e-mails from a fictitious tax attorney Moschella claimed to have retained to resolve his tax issues, and documentation that appeared to be a formal “Order of Judgment” issued by the United States Tax Court against him. Moschella also used Federal Express deliveries and wire transfers in furtherance of his scheme. [3]

  • [1] C.D. Ca. J. and Probation/Commitment Order filed Sept. 8, 2011.
  • [2] C.D. Ca. Plea Agr. filed Feb. 13, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
October 2, 2011

Former Certified Public Accountant Kimberly O’Dell Defrauded Clients of Over $1.5 Million

On September 8, 2011, in Arkansas, Kimberly O’Dell pled guilty to six counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, and one count of misuse of the Department of the Treasury’s names or symbols. [1]

From November 2005 until September 2008, O’Dell was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She founded O’Dell and Associates which provided general accounting services to clients. The company provided bookkeeping services to the University of Arkansas’ Fayetteville chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity (PDT) from 1998 until August 2008. O’Dell wrote checks, reconciled the bank statements, and also had signatory authority for the account.

O’Dell also provided accounting services to Thomas Terminella and his company, Terminella & Associates located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She handled twelve Terminella business accounts. O’Dell devised a scheme to defraud PDT and Terminella & Associates. Her intention was to deceive the victims and obtain money under false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. O’Dell transferred money to her company’s account via telephone and online computer transfers without authorization from the victims. Bank records indicate that O’Dell obtained $1,561,069.96 from her clients’ accounts. None of the transfers O’Dell made were authorized by her clients. [2]

Each of the monetary transactions made by O’Dell totaled over $10,000, and was obtained due to unlawful activity. After O’Dell fraudulently obtained the money, she used it to pay her American Express account in Florida. Those payments caused the funds to be wired via American Express accounts to North Carolina or New York. All of these dealings were monetary transactions affecting interstate commerce. On July 7, 2008, O’Dell knowingly and willfully used the name of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in a manner that conveyed a false impression. She tampered with a letter purported to be from the IRS by using the IRS’s letterhead. O’Dell falsified the contents of the letter, signed it with a fictitious name, and sent it to her clients to delay the discovery of her scheme. [3]

  • [1] W.D. Ark. Plea Agr. filed Sept. 8, 2011.
  • [2] W.D. Ark. Superseding Indict. filed May 25, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
September 25, 2011

Former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Employee Sentenced for Aiding and Assisting in the Preparation and Presentation of False and Fraudulent Income Tax Returns and Offenses by Officers and Employees of the United States

On August 22, 2011, in California, Jesse Hernandez Jr. was sentenced to serve 60 months of supervised probation and also ordered to pay $22,876 in restitution and a $1,100 assessment fee. [1]

Hernandez was employed by the IRS as a Tax Examining Technician. From April 2006 through April 2007, Hernandez aided, assisted, and advised in the preparation of Forms 1040, Individual Income Tax Returns, which were false and fraudulent as to material matters. These forms falsely represented that taxpayers received a “rollover distribution from an Individual Retirement Account” and that taxes had been withheld. Based on this belief, taxpayers presumed they were entitled to a refund. In some cases, these claims were supported by false and fraudulent Forms 1099-R, [2] purportedly issued by Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company. Hernandez knew that these claims were false and that the taxpayers were not entitled to a refund of any such withholding. [3]

Through his employment, Hernandez was cognizant that the IRS did not always verify withholding amounts as reported on Forms 1099-R attached to individual income tax returns. Due to his position with the IRS, Hernandez obtained a Form 1099-R which was issued to a taxpayer by Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company. Fernandez altered that form to make it appear that it was issued to another taxpayer. Hernandez then subsequently submitted the altered form to the IRS to allow the other taxpayer to obtain or retain a refund of withholdings to which the taxpayer was not entitled. From March 2007 to August 2007, Hernandez knowingly facilitated an opportunity for a person to defraud the United States. [4]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. J. filed Aug. 26, 2011.
  • [2] The title of this form is Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.
  • [3] E.D. Cal. Indict. filed July 31, 2008.
  • [4] Id.
September 18, 2011

IRS Employee Sentenced for Embezzlement and Theft

On August 31, 2011, in Ohio, Vonda Edmonds was sentenced on one count of embezzlement and theft. She was sentenced to serve two years of probation, and ordered to pay $3,915.04 in restitution and a $100.00 special assessment. [1]

On or about September 27, 2005 until on or about October 27, 2005, in the Southern District of Ohio, Edmonds, an employee of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), embezzled taxpayers’ payments to the IRS in the amount of $3,915.04. [2]

  • [1] S.D. Ohio Crim. Sentencing Minutes filed Aug. 31, 2011.
  • [2] S.D. Ohio Indict. filed Oct. 5, 2010.
September 11, 2011

Carole Cotton Pleads Guilty to Assault on a TIGTA Special Agent

On August 10, 2011, in Florida, Carole Cotton pled guilty to one count of assault on a Federal Officer. [1]

On May 12, 2011, Cotton telephoned the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding a collection letter she received. During the phone call, Cotton threatened to shoot anyone who stepped onto her property. [2]

On May 18, 2011, a TIGTA Special Agent went to Cotton’s residence to question her about the telephone statement that she made. The TIGTA Special Agent identified himself as a Federal agent with the Department of the Treasury. Cotton responded, “hold on let me go get my gun.” She then turned to reenter her home. Cotton was then restrained until she calmed down. She was later allowed back into her home accompanied by TIGTA agents. However, once she entered her home, Cotton went to a cabinet and removed a golf club and threw the golf club at the agent. Cotton was then taken into custody. [3]

  • [1] S.D. Fla. Plea Agr. filed Aug. 11, 2011.
  • [2] S.D. Fla. Crim. Complaint filed May 19, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
September 4, 2011

Kathryn Turner Sentenced for Endeavoring to Corruptly Influence the Administration of the Internal Revenue Code

On August 4, 2011, in California, Kathryn Turner pled guilty to one count of endeavoring to corruptly influence the administration of the Internal Revenue Code. [1] Turner was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of time served and three years of supervised release, with the condition of six-months home detention with a monitoring device. In addition, Turner was ordered to pay a $100 assessment and $30,000 in restitution. [2]

Beginning about February 1, 2006 through February 17, 2006, Turner sent falsely made, altered, forged, and counterfeit copies of levy release Forms 668-D, to business representatives who possessed funds that had been levied by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for back taxes. Turner’s actions caused these businesses to then release funds to her instead of holding the funds pursuant to the IRS levy. [3]

  • [1] S.D. Cal. J. filed on August 4, 2011.
  • [2] S.D. Cal. J. filed on August 4, 2011.
  • [3] S.D. Cal. I. filed on January 25, 2011, unsealed on February 16, 2011.
August 28, 2011

Jason J. Nicholson Indicted for Falsely Claiming Internal Revenue Service Employees Threatened to Assassinate the President of the United States

On August 3, 2011, Jason J. Nicholson was indicted on three counts of making false statements. [1]

According to court documents, Nicholson mailed letters to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Commissioner’s Correspondence Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming that IRS employees had threatened to assassinate the President of the United States, when in fact Nicholson knew such threats were never made. [2]

  • [1] D. Utah Indictment filed Aug. 3, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
August 14, 2011

Ronald Hoodenpyle Sentenced for Failing to Surrender for Service of Sentence

On July 24, 2011, in Colorado, Ronald Roy Hoodenpyle pleaded guilty to one count of Failure to Surrender for Service of Sentence. He was sentenced to three-months imprisonment to be served consecutively with the undischarged term of imprisonment, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 assessment. [1]

According to court documents, on June 17, 2010, Hoodenpyle was originally convicted of filing a false lien against an Internal Revenue Service Revenue Officer’s house. He was sentenced to twelve-months imprisonment. [2]

On October 29, 2010, Hoodenpyle was ordered to surrender to serve his sentence at the Big Spring Federal Correctional Institution in Big Spring, Texas. Hoodenpyle did not report as ordered. Instead, he took his partially disabled wife to a friend’s house in Arizona and then made preparations to go into hiding.

On November 8, 2010, Hoodenpyle was arrested outside of a cabin in Grand Lake, Colorado. At the time of his arrest, Hoodenpyle had almost $1,300 in U.S. currency, along with a false photo identification in the name of one of his associates. Officers found within Hoodenpyle’s car, among other items, a book entitled, “How to Create a New Identity;” a pre-paid cell phone as well as a receipt indicating that the phone had been purchased in Arizona on November 2, 2010; two boxes of handgun ammunition; and a to-do list that included selling a truck and furniture. [3]

  • [1] D. Colo. J. filed July 24, 2011.
  • [2] D. Colo. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 8, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
July 31, 2011

Aaron Johnson Sentenced for Threatening to “Blow Up” an Internal Revenue Service Facility

On July 13, 2011, in Missouri, Aaron Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of Threatened Use of Explosives. He was sentenced to time served, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 assessment. [1]

According to court documents, on April 14, 2010, Johnson called a facility managed by the Internal Revenue Service in St. Louis, Missouri, and threatened to “blow up” the facility. Johnson admitted that he willfully made the threat by using a mobile telephone. [2]

  • [1] E.D. Mo. J. filed July 13, 2011.
  • [2] E.D. Mo. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 19, 2011.
July 10, 2011

Myran Butler Pleads Guilty to Misuse of the Department of the Treasury’s Symbol

On June 15, 2011, in Utah, Myran Butler pleaded guilty to one count of misusing the Department of the Treasury’s symbol. [1]

According to court documents, Butler knowingly used, in connection with a business activity, the words, “Department of the Treasury,” or the “Internal Revenue Service” (IRS), in a manner that could be reasonably interpreted as falsely conveying that such business activity was approved and authorized by the Department of the Treasury or the IRS. [2]

Butler falsely made, and provided a client, an IRS Form 668-D, Release of Levy/Release of Property of Levy. He fraudulently created this form by using an official form involving another person. This form contained the forged signature of an IRS tax specialist. Butler also provided this form to his client as proof that proceedings with the IRS had been completed. [3]

  • [1] D. Utah Statement by Defendant in Advance of Plea of Guilty filed June 15, 2011.
  • [2] D. Utah Misdemeanor Info. filed Feb. 23, 2011.
  • [3] D. Utah Statement by Defendant in Advance of Plea of Guilty filed June 15, 2011.
July 3, 2011

Don Asheim Pleads Guilty for Mailing a White Powdery Substance Accompanied By Hostile Statements to the Internal Revenue Service

On June 10, 2011, in Illinois, Don Asheim pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in violation of Federal law. [1]

According to court documents, on or about April 30, 2010, Asheim placed a white powdery substance in an envelope addressed to the attention of a specific individual at the Internal Revenue Service. Enclosed in that same envelope was Asheim’s tax bill, which he altered to remove his personally identifiable information in an attempt to conceal his identity. Asheim also wrote various hostile and profane statements on the tax bill and placed it in outgoing mail. [2]

  • [1] C.D. Ill. Minute Docket Entry dated June 13, 2011.
  • [2] C.D. Ill. Indict. filed Oct. 19, 2010.
June 26, 2011

Internal Revenue Service Employee Cheryl Nelson Sentenced for Unauthorized Access of Federal Taxpayer Information

On June 2, 2011, in Pennsylvania, Cheryl Nelson pleaded guilty to one count of Exceeding Authorized Access on a Government Computer. Nelson was sentenced to 12 months of probation, and ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $25 assessment. [1]

According to court documents, on or about February 16, 2006, Nelson, an Internal Revenue Service employee, intentionally accessed a protected computer without authorization and exceeded her authorized access by obtaining information about a taxpayer. [2]

  • [1] E.D. Pa. J. filed June 2, 2011.
  • [2] E.D. Pa. Information filed Feb. 10, 2011.
June 12, 2011

Internal Revenue Service Employee Pleads Guilty to Unauthorized Access of Federal Tax Information

On May 26, 2011, in California, Alice Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a computer. According to court documents, on or about April 21, 2010, Rodriguez, while serving as an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee, intentionally accessed electronically stored Federal tax information on the IRS’s electronic system. [1] Rodriguez was not authorized to access this information.

Gina Browning Sentenced on Theft of Internal Revenue Funds

On May 27, 2011, in Rhode Island, Gina Browning was sentenced to one count of stealing Government funds. She was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, restitution in the amount of $423.13, and a $25 assessment. [2]

According to court documents, Browning, while serving as an IRS employee, filed activity reports in which she falsely claimed to have performed work. Browning falsely claimed a total of $423.14 in reimbursable expenses to which she was not entitled. [3]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed May 26, 2011.
  • [2] D.R.I. Crim. J. filed May 27, 2011.
  • [3] D.R.I. Plea Agr. filed Mar. 15, 2011. There is a minor discrepancy between the Plea Agreement and the Criminal Judgment. The Plea Agreement specifies that Ms. Browning made false claims for reimbursable expenses in the amount of $423.14. The Criminal Judgment, however, orders Ms. Browning to pay $423.13 in restitution.
May 29, 2011

Darlene Mathis-Gardner Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States

On April 18, 2011, in Washington, D.C., Darlene Mathis-Gardner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. Mathis-Gardner provided false information and documents to the General Services Administration (GSA) contracting officers so that her company could be awarded a service contract worth approximately $1.3 million. [1]

According to court documents, Mathis-Gardner learned of a GSA contract solicitation for certain interior design and project management services. From about March 2007 until June 2007, Mathis-Gardner conspired and agreed to submit false information and documents to GSA officials about the background and qualifications of her company’s employees. GSA awarded Mathis-Gardner’s company the prime contract based on the false information and documents she provided.

From June 2007 through January 2009, Mathis-Gardner also provided false information to subordinates for them to use in preparing invoices. As a result, these invoices contained information that materially overstated the number of work hours performed on the contract. These invoices were subsequently presented to GSA for payment. [2]

  • [1] D.D.C. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 18, 2011.
  • [2] D.D.C. Stat. of Offenses filed Apr. 18, 2011.
May 22, 2011

Patricia Serbera-Robledo Enters Guilty Plea

On April 29, 2011, in California, Patricia Serbera-Robledo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Unites States by obstructing the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and to aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent income tax returns. [1]

From about March 2005 through June 2007, Abel Robledo, who was incarcerated at the Corcoran State Prison, and Patricia Serbera-Robledo, who was employed by the IRS, conspired to defraud the United States by preparing and submitting or causing to be submitted individual Federal tax returns to the IRS containing false and fictitious information in the names of prisoners. The income tax returns claimed false wage and withholding amounts based on purported hourly earnings by the prisoners at the state minimum wage or higher, and the returns claimed false Federal income tax withholdings that did not exist. The IRS issued tax refunds totaling over $13,000 based on the fraudulent income tax returns. [2]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 29, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
May 15, 2011

Rene Coleman Sentenced for the Bribery of an IRS Employee

On April 27, 2011, Rene Coleman was sentenced to 18 months incarceration and two years of supervised release for Bribery of a Public Official. Coleman was further ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with respect to any tax liability owed for 2008 and 2009. [1] According to court documents, Coleman was indicted for offering a total of $3,100 to an employee of the IRS, for the employee to use her official position to reduce tax liabilities that Coleman owed to the IRS. [2]

  • [1] United States District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Criminal Docket, dated May 4, 2011.
  • [2] United States District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, Grand Jury Indictment, filed September 10, 2010.
May 8, 2011

Aaron Johnson Pleads Guilty to Threatening to Damage an IRS Facility

On April 19, 2011, in Missouri, Aaron Johnson pleaded guilty to willfully threatening to damage a building through the use of an instrument of interstate commerce. [1]

According to court documents, on April 14, 2010, Johnson called a facility managed by the Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in St. Louis, Missouri, and threatened to “blow up” the facility. The threat was made from a mobile telephone, serviced by a telecommunications company located outside of the State of Missouri. [2]

Vandetta Y. Logan Sentenced for the Unauthorized Inspection of Return Information

On April 22, 2011, in Michigan, Vandetta Y. Logan pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized inspection of return information, and she was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $25 assessment. [3]

According to court documents, Logan worked as an Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist for the IRS in Saginaw, Michigan. On December 17, 2009, Logan inspected her brother’s Federal tax account without authorization. [4]

  • [1] E.D. Mo. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 19, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
  • [3] E.D. Mich. J. filed Apr. 22, 2011.
  • [4] E.D. Mich. Plea Agr. filed Jan. 13, 2011, and E.D. Mich. Crim. Compl. filed Nov. 5. 2010.
May 1, 2011

Monica Hernandez Indicted for Making and Subscribing a False Income Tax Return, Wire Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft

On April 14, 2011, in California, Monica Hernandez was indicted on three counts of making and subscribing a false income tax return, six counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Hernandez was an employee of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and worked as a part-time data entry clerk. [1]

As part of her duties, Hernandez inputted taxpayers’ information into the IRS’s computer system. During the course of her employment with the IRS, Hernandez stole and/or misappropriated information of other taxpayers, listed on various IRS forms, including Form 1099-B. This particular form lists a taxpayer’s income received and withholdings withheld from interest and dividend earnings. Hernandez falsified and forged Forms 1099-B to reflect her own personal information. Although, in most cases, Hernandez did not submit the falsified 1099-B forms with her own tax returns, she used these forms to obtain large tax refunds. As a result of her fraud, Hernandez was able to obtain refunds from the IRS in the amount of $175,144. [2]

From about February 2010 until about June 2010, Hernandez devised another scheme to defraud the IRS. She filed a new series of fraudulent tax returns, similar to the ones she filed for herself claiming excessive withholdings. This time, Hernandez used other individuals’ personal information, instead of her own, to obtain large refunds. She acquired taxpayers’ personal information from Internet websites. Some of the taxpayers whose identities Hernandez used to file the tax returns were deceased at the time the returns were filed. In addition, Hernandez filed false tax returns using a relative’s information and opened a bank account in the relative’s name in order to deposit the refund check obtained from the false return. [3]

Hernandez illegally acquired and removed from an IRS Service Center, 68 separate returns of taxpayers. These returns were received by the IRS but had not been entered into the IRS’s computer system. After illegally removing these tax returns from the IRS, Hernandez proceeded to electronically file the fraudulent tax returns for her own benefit by using the identification of some of these taxpayers. These returns were filed from California to IRS locations throughout the United States. Any refunds generated from these fraudulent returns were generated outside of California and transferred across State lines, including New Jersey, and eventually back to California. [4]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Indict. filed Apr. 14, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] E.D. Cal. Indict. filed Apr. 14, 2011.
April 24, 2011

Ronald Hoodenpyle Pleads Guilty for Failing to Surrender on Charges of Filing a False Lien

On April 8, 2011, in Colorado, Ronald Roy Hoodenpyle pleaded guilty to failing to surrender to serve a sentence. [1]

According to court documents, Hoodenpyle was previously charged and convicted of filing a false lien against an Internal Revenue Service employee’s house.

On September 23, 2010, Hoodenpyle was sentenced to a 12-month term of imprisonment. In addition, he was directed to surrender at the Big Spring Federal Correctional Institution in Big Spring, Texas, on October 29, 2010. Hoodenpyle failed to report to serve his sentence, as ordered. Instead, he made preparations to go into hiding.

On November 8, 2010, Hoodenpyle was arrested in Grand Lake, Colorado. Officers found within his car, among other items: a book titled “How to Create a New Identity,” a prepaid cell phone, and two boxes of handgun ammunition. [2]

  • [1] United States District Court of Colorado, Plea Agreement, filed April 8, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
April 17, 2011

Gina Browning Pleads Guilty to Theft of Internal Revenue Service Funds

On March 15, 2011, in Rhode Island, Gina Browning pleaded guilty to one count of theft of Government property. Browning filed false activity reports with her employer, the IRS, in which she falsely claimed to have performed work. Browning also made false claims for reimbursable expenses in the amount of $423.14. As a result, Browning received $423.14 in funds to which she was not entitled. [1]

  • [1] Source: United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, Plea Agreement filed March 15, 2011.
April 10, 2011

Ronald Egbert Charged With Attempting to Interfere With the Administration of Internal Revenue Laws

On March 21, 2011, in California, Ronald J. Egbert was charged with three-counts of attempting to interfere with the administration of Internal Revenue laws. [1] According to court documents, between on or about October 29, 2008 through August 3, 2010, Egbert threatened three officers of the United States, while they were acting in an official capacity under Title 26 of the United States Code. [2]

  • [1] Source: United States District Court, Northern District of California, Information, filed March 21, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
April 3, 2011

Lonnie and Karen Vernon Indicted for Conspiracy to Kill a Federal Judge and an IRS Employee

On March 17, 2011, in Alaska, Lonnie and Karen Vernon (“The Vernons”) were indicted for multiple counts of various Federal offenses, including conspiracy to kill a United States District Court Judge and an employee of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), while such officer and employee were engaged in the performance of their official duties. [1]

According to the indictment, in July 2009, the United States filed a civil tax case against the Vernons alleging that they owed $118,000, as a result of failing to pay taxes to the IRS over the course of several years. The Vernons filed a counterclaim against the United States as part of their civil tax case. In response, the District Court issued an order granting the United States’ motion and dismissed the Vernons’ counterclaim. In that order, the District Court advised the Vernons of a possible foreclosure sale of their property to satisfy the tax due to the IRS. [2]

Between February 4 and March 10, 2011, the Vernons committed numerous overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, including an expressed continued interest in purchasing a silencer. Lonnie Vernon stated that he planned to use the silencer to kill an IRS employee. He met with someone and asked if that person could provide him with hand grenades. The Vernons offered to trade Karen Vernon’s jewelry in exchange for the grenades. The Vernons also purchased and received a pistol equipped with a silencer and purchased and received three hand grenades, not knowing that they were inert. [3]

  • [1] Source: United States District Court, District of Alaska, First Superseding Indictment, filed March 17, 2011.
  • [2] Id.
  • [3] Id.
March 27, 2011

Lane Hatcher Sentenced for the Misuse of the Department of the Treasury’s Name

On March 1, 2011, in Kansas, Lane C. Hatcher pleaded guilty to one count of Misuse of the Department of the Treasury Name and was sentenced to three-years probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $25 assessment. [1]

According to the Plea Agreement, Hatcher posted a resume regarding herself and her business (Lane C. Hatcher, E.A. (TAXLADY)) to the job-seeking website Monster.com. Hatcher claimed that she was a “Federally Enrolled Agent” licensed to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This fact was untrue and could reasonably be interpreted as conveying the false impression that such advertisement, solicitation, and business activity was in any manner approved, endorsed, sponsored, and authorized by the IRS. [2]

Valerie D. Walker Charged with the Unauthorized Access to a Computer and Inspection of Federal Tax Return Information

On March 14, 2011, in California, Valerie D. Walker was charged with seven counts of unauthorized access to a computer and seven counts of unauthorized inspection of returns and return information. According to court documents, between September 2007 and February 2010, Walker, an employee of the California Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”) who served as a senior compliance representative, accessed and inspected, without authorization, electronically stored Federal tax return information provided to the FTB, by the IRS. [3]

  • [1] Source: United States District Court, District of Kansas, Judgment, filed March 1, 2011.
  • [2] Source: United States District Court, District of Kansas, Plea Agreement, filed February 25, 2011.
  • [3] Source: United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Information, filed March 14, 2011.
March 23, 2011

John Daly Indicted for Threatening to Assault Internal Revenue Service Employees

On February 16, 2011, in Massachusetts, John K. Daly was indicted on two counts of Threatening a United States Official, and two counts of intimidating a United States Employee Acting in an Official Capacity. According to the indictment, Daly threatened to assault an employee of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and endeavored to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code.

Catherine Griffin Indicted for Unauthorized Use of Internal Revenue Service Computer Network System

On February 22, 2011, in Georgia, Catherine Griffin was indicted for altering taxpayer information. According to the indictment, Griffin, intentionally and knowingly accessed an IRS computer network system exceeding her authorization and altered taxpayer information for the purposes of private financial gain. Griffin received approximately $8,000 from other individuals for her acts. [1]
  • [1] Source: United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Indictment filed February 22, 2011.
Joseph Aluya Sentenced for Stealing Portions of Tax Refunds

On February 14, 2011, in California, Joseph Aluya was sentenced to 27-months in prison to be followed by three-years supervised release and ordered to pay $380,705.39 in restitution and a $500 special assessment. [1]

According to the plea agreement, Aluya is a California Tax Education Council registered tax preparer. From approximately 2003 through 2007, Aluya operated the businesses Joseph Ayula Paradigm Financial and Paradigm Realty. Aluya devised a scheme to defraud his clients by preparing two sets of Federal income tax returns for each client and convincing the clients to allow him to electronically file their Federal tax return forms 1040. On the tax return provided to the client, Aluya usually inflated the amount of taxes which would make the refund amount lower than it should have been. Aluya would then file a correct tax return with the IRS which showed a higher refund amount. Aluya kept the difference for himself. Aluya’s clients were unaware of the situation and believed the tax return they received from Aluya was the tax return filed with the IRS. [2]

Aluya admits that he knowingly stole portions of his clients’ tax refunds. From calendar years 2003 to 2007, Aluya stole $321,492.39. [3]
  • [1] Central District of California Judgment and Probation/Commitment Order filed February 14, 2011.
  • [2] Central District of California Plea Agreement filed June 1, 2010.
  • [3] Central District of California Plea Agreement filed June 1, 2010.
Jeffrey Nicholas Pleads Guilty to Conversion of Internal Revenue Service Property and is Sentenced

On February 24, 2011, in California, Jeffrey Nicholas was charged, pleaded guilty and was sentenced for conversion of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) property. According to the plea agreement, indictment and criminal docket sheet, Nicholas, while an employee of the IRS, retained in his home property of the IRS including computer items. Nichols was sentenced to one-year of unsupervised release and ordered to pay a $1,250 fine and a $25 assessment. [1]
  • [1] Source: Eastern District of California Information filed February 24, 2011, Plea Agreement filed February 24, 2011, and Criminal Docket Sheet filed February 24, 2011.

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