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Highlights - 2012 Archive

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2004


December 19, 2012

Terri Fiorini Sentenced for Unauthorized Inspection of Tax Return Information

On November 29, 2012, in the Eastern District of California, Terri Fiorini was sentenced to one-year of unsupervised probation for unauthorized inspection of tax return information. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $25 penalty assessment. [1]

According to court documents, Fiorini knowingly inspected Federal tax return information without authorization while working as an employee of the IRS. She willfully accessed the electronically stored tax return information of six individuals. The unauthorized inspections occurred between about May 2010 and January 2012. [2] On November 29, 2012, Fiorini pled guilty in district court. [3]

  • [1] E.D.C. Judgment filed Dec. 3, 2012.
  • [2] E.D.C. Memorandum of Plea Agreement filed Sept. 28, 2012.
  • [3] E.D.C. Criminal docket filed Nov. 29, 2012.
Cynthia Lewis Pleads Guilty to Unauthorized Disclosure of Tax Return Information

On November 19, 2012, in the Eastern District of California, Cynthia Lewis pled guilty to unauthorized disclosure of tax return information by a Federal employee. [1]

According to court documents, Lewis, an IRS employee, willfully disclosed tax return or return information to other persons without authorization to do so. The unauthorized disclosures began in about October 2010 and continued until about March 2011. [2] On August 16, 2012, Lewis was indicted by a grand jury for the violations. [3]

Sentencing is scheduled for February 11, 2013. [4]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Criminal Docket filed Nov. 27, 2012; and E.D. Cal. Indict. filed Aug. 16, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Cal. Memorandum of Plea Agreement filed Oct. 31, 2012; and E.D. Cal. Indict. filed Aug. 16, 2012.
  • [3] E.D. Cal. Indict. filed Aug. 16, 2012.
  • [4] E.D. Cal. Crim. Docket filed Nov. 27, 2012.
John Williamson Sentenced for Retaliating Against IRS Employees

On November 15, 2012, in the District of New Mexico, John Williamson was sentenced to four months in prison for attempting to interfere with the administration of Internal Revenue laws, and retaliating against Federal employees by false claim. He was also sentenced to three-years supervised release and ordered to pay a $200 special assessment. [1]

According to the indictment, Williamson attempted to impede the administration of the Internal Revenue Code by filing a false claim of lien and encumbrance against the real and personal property of IRS employees for performing their official duties. Williamson knew that the lien and encumbrance was false and contained fraudulent statements, including a claim that the IRS employees owed Williamson approximately $1 billion. [2]

  • [1] D. N.M. Sentencing Minute Sheet filed Nov. 15, 2012
  • [2] D. N.M. Indictment filed Oct. 26, 2012
December 3, 2012

Marian Lee Sentenced for Theft of Public Money

On November 7, 2012, in the Northern District of Georgia, Marian Lee was sentenced to 12-months’ probation for theft of public money. Lee was also ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $3,661, and a special assessment of $50. [1]

According to the indictment, on or about March 31, 2011, Lee, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee, obtained money from the IRS based on her submission of a fraudulent request for reimbursement. She embezzled, stole and knowingly converted to her use money of the United States and the IRS. [2] On October 30, 2012, Lee pled guilty as charged by count one of the indictment. [3]

  • [1] N.D. Ga. Minute Sheet for proceedings held in Open Court filed November 13, 2011.
  • [2] N.D. Ga. Indictment filed September 25, 2012
  • [3] N.D. Ga. Magistrate’s Criminal Minutes (Plea) filed October 30, 2012.
November 13, 2012

Ezenwa Ihenachor Sentenced for Wire Fraud, Aiding and Abetting

On September 10, 2012, in the Central District of California, Ezenwa Ihenachor was sentenced to 20-months imprisonment and three-years of supervised release for wire fraud, aiding and abetting. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $42,775 to victims and a special assessment of $100 to the United States. Ihenachor was also ordered to participate in 150 hours of community service educating senior citizens and students at high schools and colleges about advanced-fee scams. [1]

According to court documents, beginning on an unknown date and continuing until around August 2009, Ihenachor conspired with others to knowingly execute a scheme to defraud private individuals by means of false pretenses. A co-conspirator would send a solicitation e-mail to victims representing that the co-conspirator was an attorney or foreign Government official and was responsible for distributing an inheritance to the victim. When a victim responded to one of the solicitation e-mails, a co-conspirator would contact the victim via telephone and e-mail, using a fictitious identity and pretending that he or she could assist the victim in obtaining the promised inheritance. [2] The co-conspirator would also tell the victim that they first needed to send money for taxes and attorney’s fees before receiving the inheritance. [3]

The co-conspirator instructed the victim to pay the fees via wire transfers. Ihenachor and co-conspirators would retain the victims’ funds for their own benefit and would wire transfer some of the proceeds generated as a result of the fraudulent scheme to their co-conspirators in Nigeria and elsewhere. [4]

  • [1] C.D. Ca. Judgment filed Sept. 11, 2012.
  • [2] C.D. Ca Indictment filed Feb. 10, 2011.
  • [3] C.D. Ca Plea Agr. filed Jan. 12, 2012.
  • [4] Id.
IRS Employee Sentenced for Unauthorized Inspection of Tax Returns

On October 9, 2012, in the Eastern District of Virginia, Dora Broadnax was sentenced to one-year of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $25 special assessment for unauthorized inspection of tax returns. [1]

According to facts admitted in court documents, Broadnax was hired by the Internal Revenue Service as an Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist in 1999, and she held that position at the time she committed the unauthorized inspection of tax returns. As an Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist, Broadnax had access to tax return and return information of United States taxpayers through computers for business purposes. In the months of January and June 2011, Broadnax willfully inspected tax returns and return information of taxpayers without authorization and for purposes unrelated to her official duties. [2]

  • [1] E.D. Va. Judgment filed October 9, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Va. Statement of Facts filed October 9, 2012.
IRS Employee Sentenced for Theft of Public Money

On September 14, 2012, in the Southern District of Florida, Corey Ivey was sentenced to three-years of probation and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service for theft of public money. Ivey was also ordered to pay $7,435 in restitution and a $25 penalty assessment. [1]

According to court documents, Ivey was employed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in a position that required him to travel as part of his work. Ivey had a pattern of submitting false claims, particularly for lodging expenses and rental car reimbursement. He submitted false claims for official Government travel and converted the money to which he was not entitled for his own use. Ivey advised that he created fake hotel receipts submitted with his voucher and claimed rental car expenses that he never incurred. The loss incurred by the IRS from Ivey’s false reimbursement claims and travel advances was approximately $7,434.

  • [1] S.D. Fla Judgment filed Sept. 17, 2012.
November 1, 2012

IRS Employee Sentenced for Unauthorized Inspection of Tax Return Information

On August 30, 2012, in California, Eduardo Duarte was sentenced to one-year of unsupervised probation for unauthorized inspection of tax return information. Duarte was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $25 penalty assessment. [1]

According to court documents, between about April 29, 2010, and September 9, 2011, Duarte knowingly inspected tax returns and tax return information without authorization while working as an employee of the IRS. He willfully accessed the electronically stored Federal tax returns and tax return information of individuals outside the scope of his employment. Duarte pled guilty as charged in a plea agreement filed on August 27, 2012. [2]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Judgment filed Sept. 5, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed Aug. 27, 2012.
Alaska Couple Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Murder Federal Officials

On August 27, 2012, in the U.S. District Court of Alaska, Lonnie and Karen Vernon (the Vernons) both pled guilty to conspiracy to kill a United States District Court Judge and an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Officer while engaged in the performance of their official duties. [1]

According to court documents, in 2008, the IRS recorded Federal tax liens against the Vernons as a result of their failing to pay taxes to the IRS over the course of several years. In 2009, the United States filed a civil tax case against the Vernons alleging that they owed approximately $165,750 and seeking to foreclose its Federal tax liens against real property belonging to the Vernons. The United States also sought to reduce the tax assessments to judgment, foreclose its liens, sell the property belonging to the Vernons, and apply the proceeds toward their tax liabilities. [2]

In 2011, Lonnie Vernon traveled with another person to Anchorage, Alaska to obtain a silencer. He also stated that he planned to use the silencer to kill an IRS employee. Later, Lonnie Vernon asked if that person could provide him with hand grenades and the Vernons offered to trade jewelry in exchange for the grenades. While buying a pistol and silencer, the Vernons purchased and received three hand grenades, not knowing at the time that they were inert. [3]

Sentencing is scheduled for November 14, 2012. [4]

  • [1] D. Alaska Minutes of the U.S. District Court filed Aug. 27, 2012; and D. Alaska Plea Agr. filed Aug. 27, 2012.
  • [2] D. Alaska Plea Agr. filed Aug. 27, 2012.
  • [3] D. Alaska Superseding Indict. filed Mar. 17, 2011.
  • [4] D. Alaska Minutes of the U.S. District Court filed Aug. 27, 2012.
John Daly Sentenced for Threatening and Intimidating an IRS Employee

On September 18, 2012, in the District of Massachusetts, John Daly was sentenced to two-years of probation and ordered to pay a $250 assessment for threatening and intimidating a United States official acting in an official capacity. [1]

According to court documents, Daly threatened to assault and to retaliate against an Internal Revenue Service employee for performing official duties. He endeavored to intimidate the employee and to impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue Code. [2] On June 6, 2012, Daly pled guilty to a four-count indictment charging him with threatening and intimidating a United States official. [3]

  • [1] D. Mass. Judgment filed Sept. 20, 2012.
  • [2] D. Mass. Indict. filed Feb. 16, 2011.
  • [3] D. Mass. Judgment filed Sept. 20, 2012.
October 10, 2012

Individual Sentenced for Corrupt Interference with Internal Revenue Laws

On September 5, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, Rose Roye was sentenced to 36-months imprisonment followed by one-year of supervised release pursuant to a June 11, 2012, jury verdict finding Roye guilty [1] of Corrupt Interference with Internal Revenue Laws. [2] She was also ordered to pay $277,671 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. [3]

According to the indictment, Roye filed a fraudulent 2008 Form 1040 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As a result, she received an electronic deposit in the amount of $347,530 into her personal bank account and withdrew $300,000 from that account. After an IRS Revenue Officer served Roye with a Notice of Levy, Roye withdrew a total of $170,000 from two bank accounts that she controlled.

Beginning in December 2008, and continuing through August 2009, Roye corruptly endeavored to impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws by having documents mailed, hand-delivered, or faxed to IRS and Department of the Treasury officials. These documents included Forms 56 “Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship” which designated certain IRS and Department of the Treasury officials as Roye’s fiduciaries, when those officials were not Roye’s fiduciaries. [4]

  • [1] N.D. Ga. Jury Verdict filed June 11, 2012.
  • [2] N.D. Ga. Judgment filed Sep. 5, 2012.
  • [3] N.D. Ga. Minute Sheet for Proceedings Held in Open Court filed Sep. 5, 2012.
  • [4] N.D. Ga. Indict. filed Nov. 15, 2011.
IRS Employee Sentenced for Mail Fraud Related to a Benefits Scheme

On September 4, 2012, in the Eastern District of California, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Cheryl Frazier was sentenced to four-months imprisonment to be followed by three-years of supervised release for mail fraud. Frazier was also ordered to pay $13,285 in restitution and a $200 special assessment. [1]

Frazier pled guilty, on June 6, 2012, to two counts of mail fraud related to a scheme to defraud the State of California of money. As part of her scheme, Frazier filed for and received unemployment insurance (UI) benefits from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) despite having obtained full-time employment with the IRS. She listed false information on claim forms and mailed them to the EDD. Frazier became a full-time IRS employee on or about October 2008, but continued filing for and receiving UI benefits through about April 2011. [2]

  • [1] E.D. Cal. Judgment filed Sep. 6, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed June 8, 2012.
John Williamson Convicted for Retaliating Against IRS Employees

On August 21, 2012, in the District of New Mexico, a jury found John Williamson guilty as charged in a two-count indictment for attempting to interfere with the administration of Internal Revenue laws and retaliating against Federal employees by false claim. [1]

According to the indictment, Williamson attempted to impede the administration of the Internal Revenue Code by filing false claims of liens and encumbrances against the real and personal property of IRS employees in retaliation for performing their official duties. Williamson knew that the liens and encumbrances were false and contained fraudulent statements, including a claim that the IRS employees owed Williamson approximately $1 billion. [2]

  • [1] D.N.M. Verdict Form filed Aug. 21, 2012.
  • [2] D.N.M. Indict. filed Oct. 26, 2012.
Thomas Poppe Sentenced for Making a False Statement to the IRS

On August 28, 2012, in the District of Kansas, Thomas Poppe was sentenced to probation for a term of three years for making a false statement when he falsely identified himself as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on IRS forms. Special conditions of Poppe’s supervision by the probation office include that he shall not prepare tax returns for other individuals or provide tax work for others. Poppe was also ordered to pay a $100 assessment. [1]

According to the plea agreement, in early 2010, an IRS Revenue Agent was conducting an audit of a business and met with the company's shareholders and return preparer, Thomas Poppe. Before the Revenue Agent could discuss substantive tax matters with Poppe, the IRS required the company to complete a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representation. On March 3, 2010, Poppe submitted Form 2848 and identified himself as a CPA who is licensed to practice in the State of Kansas. [2]

The Revenue Agent checked Poppe's background and learned his CPA license had been revoked by the Kansas State Board of Accountancy. Further investigation revealed that Poppe's CPA license in the State of Missouri had also been revoked, and that he was convicted in 2008 for falsely representing himself to be a CPA on filings made with the Department of Labor. When the Revenue Agent confronted Poppe regarding his lack of a CPA license, he submitted a different Form 2848, identifying himself as an unenrolled return preparer. This status limited how Poppe could act on behalf of the business being audited and did not allow him to address substantive tax issues with the IRS on behalf of the company. [3]

A review of the IRS database revealed several Forms 2848 submitted by Poppe, in which he falsely identified himself as a CPA licensed in either Kansas or Missouri. Poppe admitted his CPA licenses had been revoked in 2004, and that he knowingly falsely signed the Forms 2848 claiming to be a licensed CPA. Poppe also admitted he had not told his clients that he was no longer a licensed CPA. [4]

  • [1] D. Kan. Judgment Aug. 29, 2012.
  • [2] D. Kan. Plea Agr. July 3, 2012.
  • [3] D. Kan. Plea Agr. July 3, 2012.
  • [4] Id
September 10, 2012

Internal Revenue Service Employee George Albright Sentenced for Aggravated Identity Theft and False Claims

On August 15, 2012, in the Middle District of Tennessee, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee George L. Albright was sentenced to 24 months and one-day imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for committing aggravated identity theft and making false claims. Albright was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $9,669, and a court assessment of $200. [1] Albright pled guilty as charged of the two counts on May 18, 2012.

According to court documents, Albright accessed Federal tax records to obtain the names, Social Security Numbers, and dates of birth of other persons. He then used this information between early 2008 and early 2011 to electronically file nine fraudulent Federal tax returns which were sent to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS. [2]

Albright falsified these persons' earnings, Federal taxes withheld from their earnings, and Federal tax refunds due. He requested refunds on these returns and then directed payments totaling $10,954 to be electronically deposited into bank accounts which he controlled. Albright ultimately received refunds from eight of nine fraudulent returns totaling $9,669. [3]
  • [1] M.D. Tenn. Judgment filed Aug. 15, 2012.
  • [2] M.D. Tenn. Plea Agr. filed May 18, 2012.
  • [3] Id.
Christian Amaukwu Sentenced for Internet Fraud Scheme

On July 31, 2012, in Brooklyn, New York, Christian Amaukwu was sentenced to a total of 30 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release for Aggravated Identity Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. In addition, he was ordered to pay $1,741,822 restitution to victims, and a $200 assessment. [1]

According to court documents, Amaukwu and co-conspirators operated a scheme to defraud numerous individuals through Internet solicitations, stealing more than $1 million and the identities of those individuals. [2] Amaukwu and his co-conspirators obtained massive e-mail distribution lists containing thousands of e-mail addresses and sent unsolicited e-mails falsely informing victims that they had won a lottery or had inherited money from a distant relative. Follow-up e-mails instructed the victims to provide personal and bank account information to receive their lottery winnings or inheritance. [3]

Subsequent e-mails to victims falsely indicated that a Government or a quasi-governmental agency, such as the IRS or the United Nations [4], would not pay the money due to them because advance payment of taxes and other fees was required. The e-mails solicited the victims to wire the money necessary to pay the taxes and other fees to designated bank accounts controlled by Amaukwu and his co-conspirators. [5]

If the victims were unable to pay the taxes and fees, Amaukwu and his co-conspirators offered to loan them the money. Victims were convinced to open online bank accounts and provide the necessary login information. Using this information, Amaukwu and his co-conspirators stole money from various bank accounts, transferred that stolen money to the victims' accounts, and instructed the victims to wire the money to foreign bank accounts controlled by Amaukwu and his co-conspirators as payment for taxes and other fees on their purported lottery winnings or inheritance. The victims never received any lottery winnings, inheritance, or other money in connection with the scheme. [6]
  • [1] E.D.N.Y. Judgment filed Aug. 9, 2012.
  • [2] E.D.N.Y. Response to Defendant's Sentencing Letter filed Dec. 19, 2011.
  • [3] E.D.N.Y. Superseding Info. filed May 10, 2011
  • [4] E.D.N.Y. Gov. Letter filed Dec. 19, 2011
  • [5] E.D.N.Y. Superseding Info. filed May 10, 2011
  • [6] Id.
Claudio Uche Dibe Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Scheme that Targeted the Elderly

On July 31, 2012, in the Central District of California, Claudio Dibe pled guilty to an indictment charging him with 15 counts of wire fraud. [1] According to court documents, in a fraud scheme that targeted the elderly, [2] Dibe and co-conspirators defrauded victims and obtained money by means of false representations and promises.

As part of the scheme, a co-conspirator would send e-mails to victims representing that the co-conspirator was an attorney or foreign government official who was responsible for distributing an inheritance. [3] The e-mails sent to unsuspecting victims falsely informed them that they owed additional taxes to the IRS, or had inherited millions of dollars but needed to pay processing fees to release the funds. [4]

When a victim responded to a solicitation e-mail, Dibe and his co-conspirators contacted the victim by telephone and e-mail using fictitious identities, pretending to be people who could assist in obtaining the promised inheritance, induced them into believing they were legitimate business people, and informed them they must pay fees in advance of receiving the inheritance. Contrary to their representations to the victims, the funds received were not used to pay any fees nor were inheritance payments issued to the victims. Dibe and co-conspirators kept the funds for their own benefit. [5]
  • [1] C.D. Cal. Criminal Minutes-Change of Plea, filed July 31, 2012.
  • [2] C.D. Cal. Opposition to Defendant's Ex Parte Application to Continuance of Trial Date filed June 6, 2012.
  • [3] C.D. Cal. Indict. filed Oct. 21, 2009.
  • [4] C.D. Cal. Crim. Compl. filed Aug. 3, 2009.
  • [5] C.D. Cal. Crim. Compl. filed Aug. 3, 2009.
August 13, 2012

Jared Brewton Pleads Guilty to Impersonating an IRS Employee and Identity Theft in Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme

On July 11, 2012, in the Southern District of New York, Jared Brewton pled guilty to false personation of an officer and employee of the United States; identity theft; subscribing to false and fraudulent U.S. individual income tax returns; and false, fictitious or fraudulent claims. Brewton was indicted by a grand jury on January 25, 2012, and subsequently arrested on January 26, 2012. [1]

According to court documents, from 2006 through 2010, Brewton obtained false and fraudulent tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To carry out his scheme, Brewton falsely posed as an employee of the IRS, claiming to be an "Audit Group Representative" named "Susan Waters." When falsely posing as an employee of the IRS, Brewton sent letters to various employers demanding that the employers send him the names, contact information, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers of employees. On at least one occasion, Brewton informed an employer that "identity theft is an [sic] an all-time high ... [and that] [o]ur offices are making every effort to ensure that no possible identity theft can occur by [sending the personal identifying information]." [2]

Brewton then prepared and sent false and fraudulent Federal tax returns and accompanying forms that contained Form W-2 information, such as income and withholding, that was falsely and fraudulently inflated, in the names of various other taxpayers without their knowledge or consent. Brewton received fraudulently-procured tax refunds, including those in the names of the other taxpayers, and used the refunds to purchase various personal items. [3]

The investigation was worked jointly with IRS-Criminal Investigation.
  • [1] S. Dist. N.Y. J. Doc. filed July 11, 2012.
  • [2] S. Dist. N.Y. Crim. Indict. filed Jan. 25, 2012.
  • [3] Id.
Former IRS Employee Arrested for Aggravated Identity Theft, Mail Fraud and Unauthorized Inspection and Disclosure of Tax Returns and Return Information

On July 5, 2012, in Lake Mary, FL, former IRS employee Domeen Flowers was arrested [1] after being charged by a Federal grand jury on June 26, 2012, for aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, unauthorized inspection of tax returns and return information, and unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information. [2]

According to the indictment, Flowers was hired by the IRS as a mailroom clerk in July 2007. During 2009, Flowers accessed the IRS Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), an electronic database, to inspect several taxpayer accounts without authorization. After accessing IDRS to obtain her landlord's taxpayer information, Flowers used her landlord's personally identifying information to apply for a credit card in her landlord's name, using her rental address, without having previously obtained the approval of her landlord. [3]

Capital One Visa issued a credit card in Flowers' landlord's name with a credit limit of $15,000. Flowers used the credit card to purchase items for her benefit or the benefit of others. On June 15, 2009, Flowers caused a series of purchases to be charged to the credit card aggregating approximately $220. Capital One placed a hold on the credit card after Flowers then attempted to use the credit card to pay an outstanding debit to the Philadelphia Gas Works in the amount of $1002.95. Capital One mailed a letter addressed to Flowers' landlord at Flowers' rental address advising that it had placed a hold on the credit card account. The letter advised, "In order to remove this hold, we will need the following documents from you to verify information on your personal credit file: a copy of a valid driver's license or state issued I.D. card; a copy of a valid Social Security card; a recent utility bill showing current mailing address." [4]

Flowers attempted to remove the hold placed on the credit card by fraudulently acquiring additional identifying information from her landlord. Flowers prepared a bogus letter on IRS letterhead to her landlord which falsely informed her landlord that the IRS would audit her tax returns unless she faxed to the IRS copies of a valid driver's license or state issued I.D. card and a valid Social Security card. In the letter, Flowers instructed her landlord to fax copies of the documents to a fax machine located in her work area within the IRS workspace. [5]

  • [1] E.D. Pa. Arrest Warrant executed July 5, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Pa. Crim. Indict. filed June 26, 2012.
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] Id.
  • [5] E.D. of Pa. Crim. Indict. filed 6/26/12.
July 30, 2012

California Tax Preparer Charged with Conspiracy to File False Claims, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Aiding and Abetting, and Aggravated Identity Theft

On June 19, 2012, in the Southern District of California, Neil A. Thomsen was charged with conspiracy to file false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; aiding and abetting; and aggravated identify theft. [1]

According to a superseding indictment, Thomsen worked as a tax preparer from January 2002 to June 2010. In 2010, Thomsen used the means of identification of other people to file false income tax returns and obtain refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Thomsen obtained the means of identification from his previous employment as a tax preparer and from other employment positions. He provided most of the means of identification of other people to co-conspirators so that they could also file false income tax returns and obtain refunds from the IRS. [2]

Thomsen used a computer to create and maintain electronic copies of forged Social Security cards and California driver's licenses. He and others used these documents to file false tax returns at tax preparation businesses located in Texas, Nevada, and Arizona. Thomsen opened a safe deposit box at a bank in California in order to conceal cash, debit cards, and other identity documents that were obtained and used during the fraud. Thomsen and his co-conspirators ultimately defrauded and attempted to defraud the IRS out of at least $560,000 in tax refunds. [3]

The investigation was worked jointly with IRS-Criminal Investigation.
  • [1] S.D. Cal. Superseding Indict. filed June 19, 2012.
  • [2] Id.
  • [3] Id.
July 13, 2012

Internal Revenue Service Employee Sentenced for Unauthorized Access to Tax Return Information

On May 31, 2012, in Fresno, California, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Noah Viengxay was sentenced to serve 24 months of probation, ordered to complete 180 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a $25 assessment fee. [1]

From February 6, 2009 to September 29, 2010, Viengxay, while employed at the IRS, willfully and unlawfully inspected the tax return information of 25 individuals without authorization, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7213A. [2]
  • [1] E.D. Cal. Judgment June 5, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. May 31, 2012.
California Woman Sentenced for Misusing the Department of the Treasury Symbols

On June 11, 2012, in the Eastern District of California, Desiree Caldwell, Chief Executive Officer of Elite HR Logistics, was sentenced to 36 months of probation, ordered to pay a fine of $1500 and a $25 assessment fee. [1] Caldwell pled guilty to one count of misusing the Department of the Treasury symbols or emblems, in violation of Title 31, USC, Section 333(a)(5). [2]

According to court documents, Caldwell cut out an image of the IRS seal, as well as the signature of an IRS employee, from a document she had previously received from the IRS and taped the seal and signature onto a fake Letter of Subordination she created. Caldwell created and faxed the fake letter to Riviera Finance to convey the false impression that the Letter of Subordination had been approved, endorsed and authorized by the IRS. Relying upon the fake Letter of Subordination, Riviera Finance provided Caldwell's company $7,807.33 in financing. [3]
  • [1] Eastern District of California Judgment, June 11, 2012.
  • [2] Eastern District of California Plea Agreement, February 27, 2012.
  • [3] Id.
June 18, 2012

Fugitive Larry M. Myers Sentenced for Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

On May 14, 2012, in Tampa, Florida, fugitive Larry M. Myers was sentenced to 78 months of imprisonment to be followed by 24 months of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a $250 special assessment fee. [1] Myers was indicted along with 10 other individuals in March, 1996. [2] He remained a fugitive for 14 years [3] until his arrest on August 5, 2011. [4]

According to the indictment, Myers and his co-conspirators were members of "The Constitutional Court of We The People In and For The United States of America;" also known as the "Constitutional Common Law Court;" also known as "The Supreme Court of the Constitutional Court of We the People = In and For the united [sic] States of America" (CLC), which was a pseudo-judicial, non-governmental, and unofficial enterprise, created and established in 1992 in Tampa, Florida. [5]

In conjunction with his co-conspirators, Myers established "The Constitutional Common Law Militia" (militia) to act as the "Supreme Law Enforcement Authority" of the CLC. This militia was entrusted by the CLC to execute its "arrest warrants" and to enforce its judicial "orders." Militia members were, in most cases, participants in or "members" of the CLC. [6]

TIGTA participated in the investigation of Myers and his co-conspirators. Myers, along with others, sent a "complaint" to the assigned IRS Inspector, accusing him of treason; and threatened arrest and incarceration unless he ceased his investigation. [7]

Myers was found guilty by a Federal jury on February 14, 2012, for conspiring to use threats and intimidation to prevent officers of the United States, including the IRS Inspector, from carrying out their official duties; mailing threatening communications with the intent to extort a thing of value; and obstruction of justice. The jury also found Myers guilty of conspiracy to mail threatening communications to intimidate and impede jurors and judicial personnel in the discharge of their lawful responsibilities. [8]
  • [1] M.D. Fla. Sentencing Notice filed May 14, 2012.
  • [2] M.D. Fla. Indict. filed Mar. 15, 1996.
  • [3] M.D. Fla. Joint Status Report filed Sept. 15, 2011.
  • [4] M.D. Fla. Arrest Warrant Ret. Exec. filed Aug. 23, 2011.
  • [5] M.D. Fla. Indict. filed Mar. 15, 1996.
  • [6] Id.
  • [7] Id.
  • [8] M.D. Fla. Sentencing Notice filed May 14, 2012.
IRS Employee Sentenced for Unauthorized Inspection of Return Information

On May 10, 2012, in Fresno, California, IRS employee Jamie Kerby was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a $25 assessment fee. [1]

According to court documents, between November 7, 2008 and about February 9, 2001, Kerby inspected, without authorization, the tax returns of private individuals while serving as a clerk for the IRS. Her access of this information was willful, intentional, and beyond what was authorized by her job duties. [2] On May 10, 2012, Kerby pled guilty to unauthorized inspection of tax return information in violation of Federal law. [3]
  • [1] E.D. Cal. Judgment filed May 11, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Cal. Info. filed Oct. 6, 2011.
  • [3] E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed May 10, 2012.
IRS Employee Sentenced for Falsely Claiming a First-Time Homebuyer Credit

On May 7, 2012, in Worcester, Massachusetts, IRS employee Michael A. Doyle was sentenced to serve three years of probation, fined $2,000, and ordered to pay $7,500 restitution and an assessment of $100. [1]

On March 23, 2011, Doyle was indicted by a Federal grand jury on one count of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 2878 - Filing False Fictitious and Fraudulent Claims. [2] He was arrested on March 25, 2011, [3] and was found guilty by a jury on February 8, 2012. [4]

In 2008, the United States Congress enacted the Housing and Economic Recovery Act that established a first-time homebuyer tax credit. The Act allowed first-time homebuyers to receive tax credits of up to $7,500 when purchasing their homes, so long as the home was purchased after April 8, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. [5]

Doyle had been employed by the IRS for approximately 20 years and, at the time of the offense, worked as a supervisor in the Small Business and Self Employed division, at the Andover Campus location. [6] Between February 12, 2009 and March 2, 2009, Doyle completed a 2008 U. S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, in which he falsely claimed to have purchased a home on April 15, 2008, in order to obtain a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit. In fact, that home was purchased on August 15, 2007 and was not eligible for the credit. [7]

This investigation was worked jointly with IRS-Criminal Investigation.
  • [1] D. Mass. Judgment dated May 8, 2012.
  • [2] D. Mass. Indict. dated Mar. 23, 2011.
  • [3] D. Mass. Arrest Warrant executed Mar. 25, 2011.
  • [4] D. Mass. Verdict dated Feb. 8, 2012.
  • [5] D. Mass. Indict. dated Mar. 23, 2011.
  • [6] Id.
  • [7] Id.
May 22, 2012

IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft of Taxpayer's Remittance Check

On April 2, 2012, in North Carolina, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Stephanie Taylor pled guilty to theft of Government property. [1]

According to court documents, Taylor was a secretary for the IRS's collections group office in Winston-Salem, NC. In this capacity, one of her duties was to open and distribute the mail including any remittance checks taxpayers sent to that office.

On February 23, 2011, a taxpayer reported that a check in the amount of $1,738 was mailed to the IRS, but never posted to her account. The taxpayer then provided copies of both the original check made payable to the IRS, and the negotiated check which had been altered, endorsed, and deposited by Taylor. [2]

The investigation revealed that the taxpayer sent the remittance check to the IRS on February 9, 2011. The check was then stolen and altered to reflect the name of "Stephanie Taylor" in the "To the order of" section, and it was also signed by Taylor.

A review of Taylor's bank account revealed that she had deposited the altered check into her personal account on February 15, 2011. The taxpayer did not know Taylor or authorize Taylor to cash the check. [3]
  • [1] M.D.N.C. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 2, 2012.
  • [2] M.D.N.C. Factual Basis filed Mar. 30, 2012.
  • [3] Id.
IRS Employee Sentenced for Unauthorized Inspection of Return Information

On April 24, 2012, in Seattle, Washington, IRS employee Jeanne Desozier was sentenced to a term of one-year probation and ordered to pay a $25 assessment for inspecting tax return information without authorization. [1]

According to court documents, as an employee of the IRS, Desozier willfully and without authorization accessed and inspected the tax return information of three private individuals in violation of Federal law. [2] Desozier admitted that she should not have accessed the information.

She pled guilty as charged and lost her job with the IRS in addition to being sentenced for her actions. [3]
  • [1] W.D. Wash. Judgment, filed Apr. 24, 2012.
  • [2] W.D. Wash. Info. filed Apr. 11, 2012.
  • [3] W.D. Wash. Defendant's Sentencing Memorandum & Recommendation filed Apr. 20, 2012
IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Intentionally Exceeding Authorized Access to a Computer and Obtaining Information from the IRS

On April 26, 2012, in New York, IRS employee Ingrid Aquilino pled guilty to fraud and related activity in connection with computers. [1]

According to the plea agreement, Aquilino worked as an IRS employee for approximately three years. During that time, she intentionally exceeded her authorized permission to a computer by accessing taxpayer account information for 12 taxpayers on the IRS's database. Aquilino's unauthorized access to the account information was not consistent with her job functions and was in violation of Federal law. [2]
  • [1] Western District of New York Plea Agreement, filed April 26, 2012.
  • [2] Id.
May 7, 2012

California Man Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement to the IRS

On April 4, 2012, in California, Thomas Gipson pled guilty to count 2 of the indictment, making a false statement to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). [1]

According to court documents, in April 2009, Gipson submitted to the IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, which falsely stated that he was a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court in California. Furthermore, between 1991 and 2009, Gipson filed more than 44 Forms 2848 in which he claimed false designations of Certified Public Accountant or an Attorney.

Gipson's false statement influenced activities of the IRS as the IRS relies on the designation statements in Form 2848 to determine how to interact with a taxpayer's representative. [2]

Sentencing for this matter is scheduled for July 2, 2012. [3]
  • [1] C.D. Cal. Crim. Minutes filed Apr. 4, 2012.
  • [2] C.D. Cal. Indict. filed Dec. 16, 2011, and Plea Agr. filed Mar. 29, 2012.
  • [3] C.D. Cal. Crim. Minutes filed Apr. 4, 2012.
West Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Involving a Federal Tax Lien Document

On February 16, 2012, in West Virginia, Janet Damewood pled guilty to wire fraud. [1]

According to the plea agreement, Damewood created and used a fraudulent Federal Tax Lien (FTL) document to obtain a second mortgage on a piece of property. Damewood owned property with a mortgage held by the First Community Bank. The IRS filed a Federal Tax Lien against the property because Damewood owed approximately $256,000 in unpaid taxes. Subsequently, she applied for another mortgage on the property from CitiFinancial, Inc. (Citi) and falsely signed a form representing to Citi that she had no outstanding tax liens. [2]

As part of its underwriting process, Citi discovered the FTL. Damewood claimed that the FTL had been released. As proof, she created a fraudulent document using a portion of an authentic FTL release from an unrelated entity and the real FTL on file against her property. Damewood then faxed the fraudulent release to Citi. The fraud against Citi was discovered during foreclosure proceedings. The IRS intervened in the civil matter and collected $36,000 after the mortgage to First Community Bank was satisfied. [3]

Sentencing for this matter is scheduled for June 14, 2012. [4]
  • [1] S.D. W.Va. Written Plea of Guilty filed Feb. 16, 2012.
  • [2] S.D. W.Va. Plea Agr. filed Feb. 16, 2012.
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] S.D. W.Va. Order filed Feb. 16, 2012.
Individual Sentenced for Filing False Liens Against Public Officials

On March 26, 2012, in the State of Washington, Ronald James Davenport was sentenced to 41 months' imprisonment and three years of supervised release [1] for filing more than $20 billion in false liens against four Federal Government officials. [2]

According to the indictment, in December 2009, Davenport filed false liens and encumbrances against four U.S. Government employees. Davenport filed the liens, knowing that they were false and contained materially false statements and representations, on account of the employees' performance of their official duties.

Each lien claimed that the victim owed Davenport $5,184,000,000. This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division. [3]
  • [1] E.D. Wash. Sentencing Hearing filed Mar. 26, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Wash. Indict. filed June 22, 2010.
  • [3] Id.
Arkansas Woman Sentenced for Filing False IRS Forms Against US Government Officials

On March 6, 2012, in Arkansas, Alys Dimmitt was sentenced to 37 months' in Federal prison for filing false IRS) Forms 1099-Original Issue Discount (OID) against several U.S. Government officials. Additionally, Dimmitt was sentenced to 36-months incarceration for misprision of a felony concerning her knowledge of a mail fraud scheme. The terms of her imprisonment were ordered to be served concurrently. Dimmitt was also sentenced to three-years supervised release following her incarceration. [1]

On February 24, 2011, Dimmitt was indicted in connection with a mail fraud scheme. [2] On October 21, 2011, Dimmitt waived indictment, consented to the filing of an Information, and pled guilty to making materially false statements to the IRS by submitting false documents to the IRS. She also pled guilty to misprision of a felony for failing to disclose her knowledge of the mail fraud scheme to authorities. [3]

According to the plea agreement, in April 2008, Dimmitt submitted fraudulent IRS Forms 1099-OID to the IRS claiming she paid U.S. Government officials, two of whom conducted the mail fraud investigation, $50 million dollars each in gross income. In a hearing before a Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge, Dimmitt testified under oath that she believed that filing the false IRS Forms 1099-OID was a "way to, you know, get us out of the system, you know, type of thing and I realize now it's ridiculous." [4]

Dimmitt also admitted in the plea agreement that, by filing the false IRS Forms 1099, she intended to submit documents that the IRS relies upon to assess the amount of tax an individual owes. [5]
  • [1] W.D. Ark. Judgment filed Mar. 6, 2012.
  • [2] W.D. Ark. Indict. filed Feb. 24, 2011.
  • [3] W.D. Ark. Info. filed Oct. 21, 2011; W.D. Ark. Plea Agr. filed Oct. 21, 2011.
  • [4] W.D. Ark. Plea Agr. Filed Oct. 21, 2011.
  • [5] Id.
California Woman Pleads Guilty to Misuse of Department of the Treasury Symbols

On February 27, 2012, in California, Desiree Caldwell pled guilty to misuse of the Department of the Treasury's symbols or emblems. [1]

According to the plea agreement, Caldwell created and submitted a phony IRS letter of subordination to secure financing to cover company payroll. Caldwell was the Chief Executive Officer at Elite HR Logistics (Elite HR), a business that employs commercial truck drivers and provides truck driving and fleet management services to other businesses. Elite HR received financing from Riviera Finance (Riviera) by selling its accounts receivable to Riviera for a cash advance.

In June 2011, Riviera learned that Elite HR owed the IRS substantial amounts of money and that the IRS had tax liens against the company. To ensure that the IRS would not step in and seize Elite HR's accounts receivable to satisfy liens against them, Riviera requested that Elite HR secure a letter of subordination from the IRS. [2]

Caldwell contacted the IRS and learned that the process to secure a letter of subordination could take up to 45 days. Since Elite HR's payroll was coming due and Caldwell determined it could not pay its employees without financing from Riviera, Caldwell constructed an IRS letter of subordination. Caldwell affixed an image of the IRS's seal and provided the signature of an IRS employee from a document she had previously received from the IRS. The letter of subordination was then sent to Riviera by Caldwell to give the impression that the document was associated with, approved, endorsed, and authorized by the IRS. Relying on the fake letter of subordination, Riviera provided Elite HR financing in the amount of $7,807. [3]

Sentencing for this matter is scheduled for June 11, 2012. [4]
  • [1] E.D. Cal. Crim. Minutes filed Feb. 27, 2012; E.D. Cal. Plea Agr. filed Feb. 27, 2012.
  • [2] Id.
  • [3] Id.
  • [4] E.D. Cal. Schedule filed Feb. 27, 2012.
March 16, 2012

Fugitive Convicted of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice

On February 14, 2012, in Tampa, Florida, a Federal jury found Larry M. Myers guilty of conspiracy to mail threatening communications to intimidate and impede jurors and judicial personnel in the discharge of their lawful responsibilities. The jury also found Myers guilty of conspiring to use threats and intimidation to prevent officers of the United States from carrying out their official duties; mailing threatening communications with the intent to extort a thing of value; and obstruction of justice. [1]

In March 1996, Myers was indicted along with 10 other individuals. He remained a fugitive for 14 years. [2] On August 5, 2011, Myers was arrested. [3]

According to the indictment, Myers and his co-conspirators were members of "The Constitutional Court of We The People In and For The United States of America" also known as the "Constitutional Common Law Court", also known as "The Supreme Court of the Constitutional Court of We the People - In and For the united [sic] States of America" (CLC), which was a pseudo-judicial, non-governmental, and unofficial enterprise, created and established in 1992 in Tampa, Florida. [4]

The CLC ideology advocated that there are two separate classes of citizens in the United States. The doctrine held that the "superior class" referred to as "sovereigns" or "preamble citizens," consisted of individuals who claimed to be the direct descendants and heirs of the "Founding Fathers." Consequently, as members of the "sovereign" class, they believed that they were above the laws of the United States. In addition, they believed that an "inferior class" of citizens existed comprising people who pay Federal income taxes, participate in Social Security programs, and accept "privileges and immunities" from the Government under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. [5]

In conjunction with his co-conspirators, Myers established "The Constitutional Common Law Militia" (militia) to act as the "Supreme Law Enforcement Authority" of the CLC. This militia was entrusted by the CLC to execute its "arrest warrants" and to enforce its judicial "orders." Militia members were, in most cases, participants in or "members" of the CLC. [6]

Myers and his co-conspirators mailed a CLC arrest warrant to a Chief Judge of a Florida State court. They also issued a CLC contempt of court order and "militia" arrest warrant to a District Judge. By use of threats and threatening communications, Myers and co-conspirators attempted to influence, intimidate, obstruct, and impede jurors and officers in and of the Courts of the United States. For instance, they endeavored to intimidate a jury panel with a CLC "contempt of court order," in which they threatened arrest by "militia" for alleged acts of treason. [7]

In order to obtain favorable rulings in criminal cases, dismissals of indictments, reversals of convictions, and the release from incarceration of individuals who had been lawfully convicted in accordance with State and Federal law, Myers and his co-conspirators engaged in this conspiracy. [8]

Sentencing for this matter is scheduled for May 14, 2012. [9]

  • [1] M.D. Fla. Jury Verdict filed Feb. 14, 2012.
  • [2] M.D. Fla. Joint Status Rpt. filed Sept. 15, 2011.
  • [3] M.D. Fla. Arrest Warrant Ret. Exec. filed Aug. 23, 2011.
  • [4] M.D. Fla. Indict. filed Mar. 15, 1996.
  • [5] Id.
  • [6] Id.
  • [7] M.D. Fla. Indict. filed Mar. 15, 1996.
  • [8] Id.
  • [9] M.D. Fla. Sentencing Notice filed Feb. 15, 2012.
Maryland Man Sentenced for Filing a False Retaliatory Lien and Three False Claims for Tax Refunds

On February 15, 2012, in Maryland, Andrew Isaac Chance was sentenced for filing a false retaliatory lien against a Government employee and for filing three false claims against the United States for income tax refunds. Chance was ordered to serve 65 months' imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. He must also pay a $400 special assessment fee. [1]

According to the Indictment, in 2007, Chance was convicted for filing a false IRS Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. He falsely claimed a $306,753 refund for Tax Year 2005. For this conviction, Chance was sentenced to 27 months in Federal prison. In 2009, he was released. [2]

Shortly after his release from prison in 2009, Chance filed a false lien against the Federal prosecutor of his 2007 case, claiming that the prosecutor owed him $1.3 billion. Chance subsequently submitted additional false returns with the IRS seeking refunds for 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. [3] In the end, on November 18, 2011, Chance was convicted of filing a false retaliatory lien. In addition, he received a second conviction for filing false claims for tax refunds.

  • [1] D. Md. Judgment filed Feb. 17, 2012.
  • [2] D. Md. Indict. filed Dec. 13, 2010.
  • [3] Id.
Arkansas Woman Sentenced for Defrauding Clients of $1.5 Million

On February 9, 2012, in Arkansas, Kimberly O'Dell, who pled guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and misuse of the Department of the Treasury's seal, names and symbols, was sentenced to serve 108 months' imprisonment and three years of supervised release. O'Dell was also ordered to pay $1,561,069 in restitution, $150,000 in fines, and a $1,025 special assessment. [1]

According to the plea agreement, O'Dell founded the business "O'Dell and Associates," which provided general accounting services in Arkansas. From November 2005 through September 2008, she devised a scheme to obtain money from her clients under fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. O'Dell's scheme included transferring money from her clients' bank accounts via telephone transfers and online computer transfers to her company's American Express account. She also took money from her clients' bank accounts by writing checks on their accounts to herself and her accounting firm. Typically, these transactions were done without her clients' authorization. [2]

In July 2008, O'Dell misused the name of the IRS in a manner that conveyed a false impression. For the purpose of delaying the discovery of her fraudulent scheme, she tampered with a letter that was purported to be from the IRS. O'Dell used the IRS letterhead, falsified the contents of the letter, signed it with a fictitious name, and then sent it to her victim clients. [3]

  • [1] W.D. Ark. Judgment filed Feb. 9, 2012.
  • [2] W.D. Ark. Plea Agr. filed Sept. 8, 2011.
  • [3] Id.
February 19, 2012

Alabama Man Sentenced For Threat to an IRS Employee

On January 30, 2012, in Alabama, Thomas Sitzler was sentenced to 12 months' probation with special conditions to participate in mental health rehabilitation programs, as well as drug and alcohol counseling. Additionally, Sitzler must pay a $3,000 fine and a $25 special assessment fee for making a telephone threat to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee. [1]

According to the plea agreement, on September 12, 2011, Sitzler called an IRS facility located in Dallas, Texas, requesting to speak with a supervisor regarding a tax matter. An IRS employee advised Sitzler that she could not find a supervisor at that time. The employee also told Sitzler that she would leave a note requesting that her supervisor contact Sitzler. Hearing that, Sitzler became incensed and issued a threat. Sitzler stated, "I have paid over $1.5 million in Federal taxes while illegals reap the benefits of people like me who pay their taxes. And the IRS is screwin' me over. So write that down please. Report it to anybody you wanna report it to. I'll be in Austin next week, and I will blow up the building. I'll make Waco, Oklahoma City, and 9/11 look like a fire drill.

Sitzler then hung up. The incident was immediately referred for investigation. [2]

  • [1] N. D. Ala. Judgment filed Feb. 3, 2012.
  • [2] N. D. Ala. Plea Agr. filed Jan. 19, 2012.
February 12, 2012

Individual Sentenced For Bribing a Public Official

On December 14, 2011, in New York, Chinh Tran was sentenced to time served and two years' supervised release for bribing an IRS revenue agent (RA). The first year will be served as home confinement. Tran must also pay a special assessment of $100. [1]

According to court documents, between August 17, 2010 and October 5, 2010, Tran unlawfully and knowingly gave things of value to the RA with the intent to influence an official act. Specifically, Tran gave the RA $18,000 in cash and a bottle of tequila for the purpose of having the RA close a pending tax audit of Tran's income tax return. Tran also expected that the RA would issue a letter indicating that no changes were proposed to her income tax return as a result of the audit. [2]

  • [1] S. D. N.Y. Judgment filed Jan. 10, 2012.
  • [2] S. D. N.Y. Criminal Info. filed May 11, 2011.
February 12, 2012

Colorado Couple Sentenced for Obstruction of Internal Revenue Laws

On January 10, 2012, in Colorado, Gregory White and his wife, Mary, were sentenced for obstructing and impeding the administration of the Internal Revenue laws and aiding and abetting as charged in a Superseding Indictment. [1] Gregory White's sentence included an additional offense of making a false claim. He was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Additionally, Gregory White was ordered to pay a $200 assessment fee. [2] Mary White was sentenced to three years' probation and was ordered to pay a $100 assessment fee. [3]

According to the plea agreement, beginning in September 2006, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) special agents began a criminal investigation into the activities of Gregory and Mary White. Between 2006 and 2011, the Whites engaged in a series of activities, such as filing false affidavits, which were designed to delay, hinder, and obstruct the IRS investigation. [4]

Additionally, the Whites submitted multiple bonds, bills of exchange, money orders, and other correspondence to the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the pretense of discharging debts owed by them to private creditors or the Treasury Department. The items falsely purported to establish or draw on accounts supposedly held by the Whites with the Treasury Department. [5]

For example, in June 2007, Gregory White submitted a fictitious "Private Discharge and Indemnity Bond" to the IRS bearing his signature and thumb print. This bond purported to obligate the Treasury Department for $300,000,000 towards the Whites' debt, including any funds owed to the IRS. From 2006 to 2008, the Whites filed a total of approximately 30 similar fictitious "offset" bonds with the IRS. [6]

  • [1] D. Colo. Judgment G. White filed Jan. 17, 2012; Judgment M. White filed Jan. 17, 2012.
  • [2] D. Colo. Judgment G. White filed Jan. 17, 2012.
  • [3] D. Colo. Judgment M. White filed Jan. 17, 2012.
  • [4] D. Colo. Plea Agr. filed Oct. 19, 2011.
  • [5] Id.
  • [6] Id.
February 2012

TIGTA, JTTF and the Sovereign Citizen Movement

View the TIGTA Fact Sheet [PDF]

January 29, 2012

Louisiana Seafood Distributor Pleads Guilty to Bribery

On January 5, 2012, in Louisiana, Vihn Q. Tran pled guilty to bribery of a Public Official. [1] According to court documents, Tran offered $6,000 cash and other items of value to an IRS agent with the intent to influence an IRS audit being conducted of his seafood distribution business. [2]

Tran owns and operates a seafood company that was licensed to conduct business in Louisiana as a shrimp and seafood distributor. In August 2007, an IRS agent delivered an appointment letter to Tran to schedule an IRS audit of Tran's business. At the conclusion of the meeting, Tran offered the IRS agent lunch; however, the agent declined. During a subsequent meeting, Tran told the agent that he would take care of him, if the agent took care of him. Tran then asked the agent to make sure that he owed little or no taxes and to make the audit paperwork "clear." The agent was offered $6,000 by Tran to help him pay little or no Federal taxes. [3]

During follow-up meetings, Tran made an initial bribe payment of $500 cash and 75 pounds of jumbo shrimp valued at approximately $400. Tran made additional cash payments to the agent totaling $5,500. The agent later provided Tran with two IRS audit reports from which Tran could choose. First, the agent offered a legitimate audit report that reflected that Tran and his business owed the IRS approximately $2 million dollars. Next, the agent presented a fictitious audit report indicating that no taxes were owed by Tran or his business. Tran selected the fictitious audit report. [4]

Individual Convicted For Filing False Liens Against Public Officials

In April 2011, TIGTA Special Agents interviewed Tran concerning the bribery payments made to the IRS agent. Tran acknowledged that he made bribe payments over the course of several meetings in an effort to obtain audit reports that showed he owed no taxes. Tran also admitted that he was aware that what he was doing was against the law. [5] This criminal case has been set for sentencing on April 26, 2012. [6]

  • [1] E.D. La. Re-Arraignment and Plea Letter filed Jan. 5, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. La. Bill of Info. filed Nov. 29, 2011.
  • [3] E.D. La. Factual Basis filed Jan. 5, 2012.
  • [4] Id.
  • [5] Id.
  • [6] E.D. La. Notice of Sentencing filed Jan. 5, 2012.
January 22, 2012

Tennessee Woman Sentenced for Fake Inheritance and IRS Scam

On January 3, 2012, in Tennessee, Stephanie Bare was sentenced to serve 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. She was also ordered to pay $553,310 restitution and a $200 assessment. [1]

According to court documents, in order to support themselves, Stephanie and her husband, David, embarked on a confidence scheme which involved a fake inheritance and an alleged freeze on their assets by the IRS. [2] Stephanie Bare devised an elaborate scheme to defraud victims of more than $500,000. The ruse continued for nearly five years.

Stephanie Bare fabricated promissory notes, documents, and e-mails to carry out the fraud. As part of the fraudulent scheme, Stephanie Bare either impersonated or caused others to impersonate individuals in positions of authority, such as IRS collections officers and lawyers. [3]

The plan involved an elaborate plot which included an alleged $10 million inheritance that David Bare received from his sister. Allegedly, in the settlement of the estate, he retained a law firm that failed to pay the appropriate Federal estate tax to the IRS and other taxes owed to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Consequently, the IRS seized the entire $10 million inheritance and froze the Bares' personal bank accounts, real property, and Social Security account numbers. As a result, the Bares said they were unable to negotiate checks, borrow money from financial institutions, or otherwise conduct routine financial transactions. [4]

To implement the scheme, Stephanie Bare typically approached a friend or family member requesting small loans which she promised to repay once the couple received the rest of the "inheritance." She provided either a letter purportedly from the IRS or the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a letter from a law firm or investment firm to verify her story. When victims asked for a promissory note to secure the loan, she provided them the notes which were complete and contained both her and her husband's signature. The Bares even promised to repay the loans at exorbitant rates of interest that were sometimes as high as 200 percent. All of the documents were false. [5]

The fraudulent scheme included personal and telephone conversations, e-mail communications, and letters sent via the United States mail. It also included false claims about transactions with the IRS, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Tennessee, Wachovia Bank, Citizens Bank and Trust, law firms, and investment firms. [6]

  • [1] E.D. Tenn. Crim. Minutes: Sentencing filed Jan. 3, 2012.
  • [2] E.D. Tenn. Plea Agr. filed July 7, 2011.
  • [3] E.D. Tenn. Sentencing Memo filed Dec. 27, 2011.
  • [4] E.D. Tenn. Plea Agr. filed July 7, 2011.
  • [5] Id.
  • [6] Id.
January 15, 2012

New York Man Sentenced for Internet Fraud Scheme

On December 19, 2011, in New York, Godspower Egbufor was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release for Aggravated Identity Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. In addition, he was ordered to pay $1,741,822 restitution and a $200 assessment. [1]

According to court documents, Egbufor, together with co-conspirators, operated a scheme to defraud numerous individuals through Internet solicitations whereby they stole more than $1 million dollars and the identities of those individuals. [2]

Egbufor and his co-conspirators obtained massive e-mail distribution lists containing thousands of e-mail addresses and sent unsolicited e-mails falsely informing targeted victims that they had won a lottery or had inherited money from a distant relative. Follow-up e-mails instructed the victims that they were required to provide personal and bank account information in order to receive their lottery winnings or inheritance. Using this information, Egbufor and his co-conspirators stole the identities of some of the victims to facilitate their scheme. [3]

Subsequent e-mails to victims falsely indicated that a Government or a quasi-governmental agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service [4] (IRS) or the United Nations, prevented the money due to them from being awarded because advance payment of taxes and other fees was required. The e-mails solicited the victims to wire the money necessary to pay the taxes and other fees to designated bank accounts controlled by Egbufor and his co-conspirators. [5]

When victims indicated that they lacked the money to pay the taxes and fees, they were informed that Egbufor and his co-conspirators would loan them the money. Victims were convinced to open online bank accounts and provide the necessary login information. Using this information, Egbufor and his co-conspirators stole money from various bank accounts, transferred that stolen money to the victims' accounts, and instructed the victims to wire the money to foreign bank accounts controlled by Egbufor and his co-conspirators as payment for taxes and other fees on their purported lottery winnings or inheritance. The victims never received any lottery winnings, inheritance, or other money in connection with the scheme. [6]

  • [1] E.D.N.Y. Judgment filed Dec. 27, 2011.
  • [2] E.D.N.Y. Gov. Letter filed Dec. 19, 2011.
  • [3] E.D.N.Y. Superseding Ind. filed May 10, 2011; E.D.N.Y. Gov. Letter filed Dec. 19, 2011.
  • [4] Id.
  • [5] Id.
  • [6] Id.
January 8, 2012

Woman Pleads Guilty to Impersonating an Internal Revenue Service Employee

On December 21, 2011, in New Jersey, Tammi Haines pled guilty to impersonating an officer or employee of the United States. [1]

According to court documents, Haines admitted to authoring a fraudulent IRS letter to "buy time." [2] Haines was approved by her mother, who is identified in court papers as "D.G.," to prepare and file Federal income tax returns for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. The returns were not filed by Haines. As a result, the IRS filed tax returns on behalf of D.G. resulting in a tax liability of approximately $330,000. [3]

In December 2009, D.G. was contacted by an IRS collection officer. D.G., in turn, called Haines for assistance. Haines subsequently provided D.G. with a letter from a non-existent IRS "senior revenue officer." The letter displayed the letterhead of the Department of the Treasury and IRS and indicated that D.G. owed no tax. Believing the IRS letter to be authentic, D.G. provided it to the IRS employee assigned to collect the tax liability.

Haines later explained that she wrote the fraudulent letter to "buy time" with D.G. so that she would not take immediate action on the tax liability. [4]Sentencing is set for April 13, 2012. [5]

  • [1] D.N.J. Minutes of Proceedings filed Dec. 21, 2011.
  • [2] D.N.J. Compl. filed Sept. 28, 2010.
  • [3] D.N.J. Info. filed Dec. 21, 2011.
  • [4] D.N.J. Compl. filed Sept. 28, 2010.
  • [5] D.N.J. Minutes of Proceedings filed Dec. 21, 2011.

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