Enable scripting to view the full contents of the page
Skip navigation.
TIGTA Print Friendly

Printed on  

We Can Do This! Find COVID-19 Vaccines near you. Visit Vaccine.gov.

About

Office Locations

*
Highlights

TIGTA Related
Department of Justice
Press Releases

Learn About IRS Scams
Please enable JavaScript on your browser to fill out this form to Subscribe to Email Updates.

 
Highlights

Archives:  2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016


The Investigation Highlights are updated monthly.

Documents noted as PDF require a special plugin. To obtain the free reader for this format, please visit the Adobe web site.

September 30, 2021

Florida Woman Received More Than Five Years’ Imprisonment for Conspiracy [1]

On July 14, 2021, in the Middle District of Florida, Lori Owen was sentenced for conspiracy. Owen was initially indicted on December 11, 2019, for illegal monetary transactions, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud conspiracy. A superseding indictment was filed on October 15, 2020.

According to the court documents, beginning on an unknown date, but no later than in or around December 2014, and continuing through at least August 2016, Owen was part of a team of coconspirators, based in the United States, who coordinated with conspirators located in other jurisdictions to obtain money from victims through fraudulent and threatening representations. Many of their victims resided in the United States. Owen and coconspirators created shell companies that typically were non-operational entities with no legitimate business operations. To assist in the collection of fraud proceeds, Owen and coconspirators established mail and e-mail addresses, established websites, opened merchant accounts, both personal and business accounts at financial institutions, and obtained Employer Identification Numbers from the Social Security Administration in the names of the shell companies. Owen and coconspirators recruited and hired other participants, based in the United States, to execute the fraud scheme. They placed advertisements online seeking employees and/or business partners for the shell companies.

Owen and coconspirators falsely posed as Government officials and threatened victims with prosecution and/or arrest for failure to pay erroneous fines and/or taxes. They also falsely presented themselves as lottery officials and told victims to send money for advance tax payments for the monetary prizes. Victims were instructed to send money through a money service business, deposit into a financial institution, send cash via United States mail or commercial carrier, or purchase prepared stored value cards.

Owen was sentenced to 63 months’ imprisonment, 60 months of supervised release, ordered to pay $659,835.40 in restitution, and a $100 assessment fee.
  • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: M.D. Fla., J., filed July 15, 2021; M.D. Fla., Indict., filed December 11, 2019, and M.D. Fla., Superseding Indict., filed October 15, 2020.


  • Woman Sentenced in Connection with Scheme Involving Stolen Federal Tax Refund Checks [1]

    On July 8, 2021, in the Southern District of New York, a judgment in a criminal case was filed on Raysette Mercedes for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Mercedes conspired in a scheme that involved the theft of U.S. Treasury checks, to include tax refund checks. On August 26, 2019, Mercedes was charged in a three-count indictment: conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

    According to the court documents, from at least in or about December 2017, up to and including at least in or about February 2019, Mercedes, coconspirators, and others known and unknown, willfully and knowingly executed a scheme to defraud financial institutions. The scheme to defraud was discovered when a financial institution identified a pattern of suspicious activity in multiple accounts. Specifically, U.S. Treasury checks, including tax refund and Social Security checks, were stolen before reaching their intended recipient. Mercedes and coconspirators opened fraudulent bank accounts at financial institutions in the names of the intended recipients of the stolen checks. Although the bank accounts were in other people’s names, Mercedes used an email address that included her own name to monitor the fraudulent bank accounts. These accounts were opened with apparently fraudulent Dominican Republic identification documents, such as passports, consular cards, and drivers’ licenses.

    Mercedes and coconspirators forged signatures to endorse the stolen checks, deposited these checks into fraudulent accounts, then made cash withdrawals to access the stolen funds. Mercedes is believed to have accessed bank accounts that held approximately $262,000. In total, Mercedes and coconspirators are believed to have accessed bank accounts that held approximately $822,000 in U.S. Treasury checks.

    Mercedes was sentenced to time served, four years of supervised release, ordered to pay $142,634 in restitution, and a $100 assessment fee.
    • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: S.D.N.Y. Crim. Compl., filed July 30, 2019; S.D.N.Y. Indict., filed August 26, 2019; S.D.N.Y. Sentencing Recommend., filed July 2, 2021; S.D.N.Y. J., filed July 19, 2021.


    • Man Convicted for Filing False Liens against Treasury Officials [1]

      On July 2, 2021, in the Northern District of Georgia, a jury found Hakim Amal Archible guilty of a four-count indictment for retaliation against a Federal judge or law enforcement officer, and obstructing and impeding the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws by filing a false lien. Archible was initially indicted on October 22, 2019.

      According to the court documents, on or about November 2014 and also on or about August 2015, Archible filed liens and encumbrances in the public record of the Fayette County, Georgia, clerk’s office that contained materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations. One of the false liens filed in the name of former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen, cited him as the debtor who was responsible for a $5,000 Federal tax penalty issued to Archible for tax year 2013. Archible mailed copies of these false documents to former Commissioner Koskinen at the IRS. In December 2014 and August 2015, Archible filed additional false liens against former Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew. The lien claimed that former Secretary of the Treasury Lew was the debtor and the responsible party for, among other things, a “chargeback order” in the amount of $100 billion and a “registered bona fide security” in the amount of $10 billion.

      At sentencing, Archible could receive a maximum imprisonment of more than 10 years.
      • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: N.D. Ga., Indict., October 22, 2019; N.D.Ga., Superseding Indict., filed June 10, 2020; N.D. Ga., Summons, filed June 22, 2020; and N.D. Ga., Verdict, filed July 2, 2021.


      • IRS Employee Found Guilty of Access Device Fraud [1]

        On July 17, 2021, in the Eastern District of Virginia, Kwashie Senam Zilevu was found guilty by jury trial of access device fraud. Zilevu was previously charged via criminal complaint with access device fraud on October 2, 2019, and subsequently arrested by special agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on October 3, 2019. He was indicted on charges of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft on November 26, 2019.

        According to the court documents, Zilevu was employed as an Information Technology Specialist with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Zilevu owned several businesses, including MacroTele, LLC, which he claimed sold telephone calling cards that he created. Between January 2016 and March 2018, Zilevu knowingly and without authorization used the names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers of at least three victims to obtain fraudulent credit cards. Once Zilevu obtained the credit cards in the victims’ names, he used them to make several thousands of dollars of purchases at retail stores and other companies.

        An American Express (AmEx) application was submitted using a victim’s personally identifiable information (PII) and approximately $49,000 was charged to the AmEx card. Among the purchases were an airline ticket for travel from Washington, D.C. to Miami, Florida, and a hotel reservation for Zilevu. Another credit card application was submitted to U.S. Bank and Trust using PII of a second victim. Bank statements revealed that a total of $10,273.39 in completed transactions and $2,651.62 in attempted transactions were made using this card, including an airline ticket for Zilevu from Dulles, Virginia to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Another credit card application was submitted to U.S. Bank and Trust using a third victim’s PII. A total of $9,641.69 in fraudulent charges were made using this credit card.

        A review of Zilevu’s IRS e-mail account revealed that Zilevu received an e-mail message from PayPal congratulating the third victim for setting up his or her account and instructing the victim to click a link in order to confirm the accuracy of his or her e-mail address. Zilevu received a subsequent e-mail message from PayPal to his IRS e-mail account advising the third victim that he or she was officially a PayPal member. When interviewed, each of the victims confirmed that the fraudulent credit cards had been taken out in their names, and that Zilevu did not have permission or authority to use their information to apply for the cards.

        On July 17, 2021, a jury found Zilevu guilty of one count of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(5) Access Device Fraud. Zilevu was placed on electronic monitoring until his sentencing on November 10, 2021. This investigation was worked jointly by special agents from TIGTA and the United States Postal Inspection Service. At sentencing, Zilevu could face up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine.
        • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Va. Crim. Compl., filed Oct 2, 2019; E.D. Va. Docket, ending July 21, 2019; E.D. Va. Verdict Form, dated July 17, 2019; E.D. Va. Executed Arrest Warrant, filed Oct. 3, 2019; E.D. Va. Indict., filed Nov 26, 2019; E.D. Va. Sentence Document, dated July 17, 2021; TWR, dated December 11, 2019; and TWR, dated October 16, 2019.


        • IRS Employee Sentenced for Impeding a Criminal Investigation [1]

          On July 23, 2021, in the Northern District of Texas, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Officer Sonya Vivar was sentenced for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct or impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws. Vivar entered a plea of guilty on November 10, 2020.

          According to the court documents, from in or around 1987 through 2019, Vivar’s duties as a Revenue Officer included the collection of taxes from taxpayers. Beginning in or around January 2009, and continuing through in or around September 2017, Vivar was assigned, or at times requested that she be assigned, to employment tax collection cases that involved various individual taxpayers and businesses. Vivar developed a personal friendship with one taxpayer who owned several businesses, and prepared that taxpayer’s individual income tax returns. During this time, the taxpayer failed to pay the IRS delinquent employment taxes associated with their businesses.

          In or around 2017, Vivar learned that IRS criminal investigators had opened an investigation into the taxpayer she developed a personal friendship with and other taxpayers. In response, Vivar contacted IRS employees with corrupt intent to impede and obstruct the investigation. During these conversations with IRS employees, Vivar failed to identify herself as a Revenue Officer. On or about September 18, 2017, during an interview with criminal investigators, Vivar stated her association with the taxpayer was only professional. Furthermore, she denied attending a meeting with, and on behalf of the taxpayer, which involved a U.S. Department of Labor employee pay withholding matter.

          Vivar received 36 months imprisonment, one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $100 assessment fee.
          • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: N.D. Tex., J., filed July 23, 2021; N.D. Tex., Plea Agr., filed November 10, 2020; and N.D. Tex., Information, October 15, 2020.


          • August 27, 2021

            IRS Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Wire Fraud [1]

            On June 4, 2021, in the Eastern District of New York, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) Special Agent Bryan Cho pled guilty to aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud. Cho additionally consented to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $394,374.63. Cho, who has been employed with IRS-CI since 2008, used information he obtained during the course of his official duties to engage in various unlawful activities.

            According to the court documents, in or around 2018, law enforcement agents in South Korea learned that public officials who worked at South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and National Tax Service paid Cho bribes in exchange for information Cho obtained through his employment with IRS-CI. In 2018, while Cho was visiting Asia for personal reasons, law enforcement agents from South Korea contacted Cho and sought to question him about his knowledge of and participation in the alleged bribery scheme.

            During the course of his employment, Cho worked on an investigation through which he obtained identifying information for an individual described as “John Doe.” The investigation was eventually closed, but Cho retained items he obtained during the investigation and used John Doe’s identifying information to create false identification documents and open a corporate entity overseas in John Doe’s name. The fraudulent documents included purported identification cards for the Philippines and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the name of John Doe, but bearing photos of Cho, and a purported passport in the name of John Doe for the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

            Cho later made false statements during a background investigation, including denying that he possessed any foreign identification documents. Cho also denied any contact with foreign officials, even though law enforcement officials from South Korea had communications with him regarding allegations that South Korean government personnel had paid bribes to Cho in exchange for information about ongoing U.S. criminal investigations.

            Cho also submitted multiple false documents in connection with the purchase of a co-op apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, including forged tax returns and bank statements. These false documents inflated his income and assets to secure the co-op board’s approval for the purchase, and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a foreign bank account associated with an entity he created using John Doe’s identity to fund the purchase. Cho, deemed a potential flight risk, was remanded to custody.

            At sentencing, Cho could receive more than 20 years’ imprisonment.
            • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D.N.Y., Indict., January 22, 2011; E.D.N.Y., Arraignment, January 26, 2021; and E.D.N.Y., Order of Forfeiture, June 9, 2021.


            • California Man Sentenced for Depositing Stolen IRS Refund Checks [1]

              On June 8, 2021, in the Central District of California, Angelo Phoenix was sentenced for bank fraud. On June 29, 2020, Phoenix pled guilty for his role in a scheme involving stolen United States Treasury tax refund checks. He was initially charged in a nine-count indictment issued on December 6, 2019.

              According to the court documents, during an unknown period ending in November 2019, Phoenix executed a scheme to defraud several banks. First, Phoenix obtained stolen Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax refund checks issued to at least 36 victims. He then opened bank accounts in the names of some of the victims, without their knowledge or permission, and deposited the stolen checks. Phoenix also altered some of the stolen checks so they appeared to list himself as a payee and then deposited those checks into bank accounts in his own name. The overall scheme had an intended loss (that is, the amount of pecuniary harm Phoenix intended to inflict) of more than $150,000.

              Phoenix was sentenced to one day, with credit for time served, and supervised release for four years’ under the condition that 14 months are in a home detention program. He was ordered to pay $147,432.85 in restitution and a $100 assessment.
              • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: C.D. Cal., J., filed June 8, 2021; C.D. Cal., Change of Plea, filed June 29, 2020; C. D. Cal., Indict., filed December 06, 2019; and C. D. Cal., Plea Agr., filed May 20, 2020.


              • Man Involved in Internal Revenue Service Impersonation Scheme Indicted for Wire Fraud [1]

                On June 23, 2021, in the Southern District of Florida, Matthew Shackell was indicted for wire fraud and also conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The object of the conspiracy was for Shackell and his coconspirators to unjustly enrich themselves by calling individuals and falsely telling them they owed money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Shackell and his coconspirators then directed these individuals to make payments, for these false IRS debts, to bank accounts controlled by Shackell.

                According to the court documents, sometime in or about June or July 2017, the coconspirators, posing as IRS employees, contacted victims via phone and falsely stated there were arrest warrants for their arrest for unpaid Federal taxes. Victims were instructed to deposit money into two different bank accounts controlled by Shackell. For the purpose of executing this scheme to defraud victims by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, Shackell knowingly caused the transmittal of $31,300 through interstate commerce.

                If convicted, Shackell could receive a maximum of twenty years’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and potentially pay a fine of up to $250,000.
                • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: S.D. Fla., Indict., filed June 23, 2021.


                • Man Pled Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud [1]

                  On July 9, 2021, in the District of Maryland, Babatunde Ajibawo pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Ajibawo and his coconspirators executed a scheme to defraud financial institutions by means of material false or fraudulent pretenses. Ajibawo was initially indicted on July 21, 2020, for bank fraud conspiracy, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting.

                  According to the court documents, beginning in or about February 2017 and continuing until on or about July 1, 2020, in the District of Maryland, District of Columbia, Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Washington, and elsewhere, Ajibawo and coconspirators opened bank accounts in the names of other individuals and businesses to obtain money from financial institutions by fraud. To further the scheme, Ajibawo and coconspirators would obtain legitimate checks, alter the name of the payee on some checks, create fraudulent checks, and deposit checks, thereby causing fraudulent wire transfers into various bank accounts. Ajibawo and coconspirators used the names of identity theft victims to obtain Employee Identification Numbers (EIN), register businesses, and obtain State business certificates in business names identical or similar to the names of the payees listed on the checks. Then, they used the names of identity theft victims to open bank accounts in the names of payees listed on the checks. Ajibawo and coconspirators used phones, including messages through WhatsApp, to coordinate the shipping, receipt, and deposit of stolen checks, and the withdrawal of proceeds. Through text messages, they would exchange images of stolen checks, EIN documents, and stolen identity information.

                  As part of the plea agreement, Ajibawo agreed to the entry of a restitution order for the full amount of the victims’ losses, which the parties stipulate to be at least $606,598.08. If convicted, Ajibawo could receive a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment, up to five years’ of supervised release, potentially pay a fine up to $1,000,000, and pay a $100 assessment fee.
                  • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D. Md., Plea Agr., filed July 9, 2021; D. Md., Indict., filed July 21, 2020; and D. Md., Plea Agr., filed July 9, 2021.


                  • July 28, 2021

                    Florida Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Launder Proceeds of IRS Impersonation Scam [1]

                    On May 4, 2021, in the Southern District of Florida, Teo Rosengarten was sentenced for conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in a conspiracy involving the impersonation of employees from various Government agencies. Rosengarten was initially charged in February 2020 for this crime.

                    According to the court documents, from about March 2017 through in or around July 2017, Rosengarten conspired with others, including co-defendant Scott Levenberg, to launder money in connection with a wire fraud scheme. Per the factual agreement accompanying co-defendant Levenberg’s guilty plea, the scheme involved various individuals who called victims and pretended to be Government officials, most often Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents. The callers claimed the victims owed back taxes with compound interest and fees. The callers threatened victims with arrest if they did not make immediate payments into bank accounts controlled by Rosengarten.

                    As part of the conspiracy, Rosengarten provided his bank account information to receive funds from victims of the scheme, in exchange for a percentage of the deposited money. In addition, Rosengarten recruited others to open multiple bank accounts, in order to receive money that he knew was derived from criminal activity.

                    Rosengarten was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, ordered to pay $38,079 in restitution, and a $100 assessment.
                    • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: S.D. Fla. Plea Agr., filed Apr. 16, 2020, S.D. Fla. Super. Infor., filed Feb. 28, 2020, S.D. Fla. Factual Agr., filed May 28, 2020, and S.D. Fla., J., May 4, 2021, and TWR 10-22-18.


                    • Man Pleads Guilty to Internal Revenue Service Impersonation Scheme [1]

                      On April 6, 2021, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Michael Galanis pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy. Galanis conspired with others to automatically forward calls to numbers used by individuals impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees who then extorted money from victims within the United States. Galanis was indicted on January 16, 2020.

                      According to the court documents, from March 2016, and continuing thereafter until August 2017, Galanis conspired with others to activate Subscriber Identity Module cards and program prepaid cell phones to automatically forward calls to Voice over Internal Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers. These calls were routed to IRS impersonators who left voicemails instructing victims to contact the IRS at specific phone numbers. When victims called these numbers, their calls were automatically forwarded to the VoIP phone numbers then routed to the IRS impersonators. Victims were told they owed money to the IRS and instructed to wire money or purchase iTunes® and retail store gift cards to pay their alleged tax debt. Galanis and his coconspirators defrauded victims of approximately $89,000.

                      If convicted, Galanis could receive not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and a $100 assessment.
                      • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: W.D. Pa. Change of Plea, filed April 6, 2021; W.D. Pa. Change of Plea Hrg., filed April 6, 2021; W.D. Pa Indict. Memo, filed January 16, 20201; and W.D. Pa. Indict., filed January 16, 2020.


                      • Former Internal Revenue Service Employee Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent Tax Return Scheme [1]

                        On May 27, 2021, in the Eastern District of California, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Angela Milton pled guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns. Milton knowingly added materially false information to Federal income tax returns (FITRs) to increase the refund amount. Milton was indicted on April 12, 2018.

                        According to the court documents, between 2007 and 2014, as an IRS Tax Examining Technician in Fresno, California, Milton reviewed and amended FITRs. Between 2010 and 2013, Milton prepared and filed numerous false and fraudulent FITRs for others and herself, which she charged taxpayers a preparation fee. She included false or inflated wage income, erroneous tax withholdings, false claims of dependents, and fabricated Schedule C (Form 1040) Profit or Loss From Business with false income and expenses.

                        For some taxpayers, without their authorization, Milton filed FITRs and split the refund so a portion was delivered to the taxpayer and the remainder to a bank account or prepaid debit or credit card controlled by Milton. In other instances, Milton filed FITRs without the knowledge or consent of the taxpayer, and caused the deposit of the entire refund amount to her bank account or prepaid debit or credit card. Milton defrauded the IRS of more than $170,000.

                        As part of the plea agreement, Milton agreed to pay $101,475 in full restitution to the IRS, and a special assessment of $100. At sentencing, Milton faces up to three years’ imprisonment and one year of supervised release.
                        • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Cal., Plea Agr., May 27, 2021; and E.D. Cal., Indict., April 12, 2018.


                        • Internal Revenue Service Employee Charged with Threatening Colleagues [1]

                          On June 3, 2021, in the Southern District of Texas, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Officer Ammar Bhatti was charged by criminal complaint for stalking numerous U.S. Government officials. Bhatti used electronic media to communicate his intent to kill, injure, harass, and intimidate Government officials.

                          According to the court documents, Bhatti has been employed with the IRS since March 2020, at the IRS office located in Corpus Christi, Texas. A year later, in March 2021, Bhatti began sending threatening emails and text messages to his coworkers, supervisor, and the National Treasury Employees Union. On May 31, 2021, Bhatti received an IRS management directive prohibiting his return to the IRS building. Subsequently, Bhatti sent a text to an IRS employee that stated, “Omw [On my way] to POD [Post of Duty]. David Stay on site or die [sic].” Shortly thereafter, Bhatti was arrested at the IRS office in Corpus Christi for criminal trespassing.

                          On June 11, 2021, based on evidence presented at the preliminary examination, the court ordered that Bhatti be placed in an appropriate medical facility for a period not to exceed 30 days, to have a competency examination by a psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist.

                          If convicted, Bhatti could receive a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
                          • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: S.D. Tex., Crim. Compl., filed June 3, 2021; and S.D. Tex., Order for Competency Evaluation, filed June 11, 2021.


                          • July 2, 2021

                            Former Internal Revenue Service Employee Indicted for Attempted Wire Fraud and Making False Statements [1]

                            On April 12, 2021, in the District of New Hampshire, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Jane Smith was indicted for attempted wire fraud and making false statements.

                            According to the court documents, around September 1993, Smith began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA informed Smith that she was required to report any changes in her employment and income. Then around January 2007 through March 2018, Smith worked for several employers including the IRS and concealed her employment from the SSA knowing that her earnings would have reduced her SSDI benefits or made her ineligible to receive SSDI benefits. Subsequently, between around April 2011 and July 2017, the SSA learned of Smith’s employment and suspended her benefits several times. Each time, Smith took steps to cause the SSA to resume wiring her SSDI benefit payments she was not entitled to receive. SSA wired SSDI benefit payments from the U.S. Treasury in Kansas City, Missouri, to Smith’s credit union account in Methuen, Massachusetts.

                            Between in or around February 2018 and May 2018, Smith falsely reported to the SSA, the IRS, and the Nashua Police Department that she was a victim of identity theft and that someone else had used her name to work for her employers. Smith also falsely claimed that she had neither worked for her employers nor received wages from them.

                            If convicted, Smith faces maximum imprisonment of up to 20 years.
                            • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: D.N.H., Indict., April 12, 2021.


                            • Man Pleads Guilty in Multimillion-Dollar International Robocalls Scheme [1]

                              On February 22, 2021, in the Eastern District of Virginia, Pradipsinh Dharmendrasinh Parmar pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

                              According to the court documents, beginning in or about May 2016, and continuing through about October 2019, Parmar knowingly conspired to defraud victims of money both directly and through automated, previously recorded calls, commonly referred to as “robocalls.” These calls contained messages designed to create a sense of urgency with the call recipient, and included instructions the victim was to take. The messages typically told recipients that they had some sort of serious legal problem, usually criminal in nature, and that if they did not act immediately in accordance with the demands of the callers, there would be drastic consequences, to include threats of arrest and/or significant financial penalties.

                              The conspiracy operated through foreign call centers located primarily in India and disproportionately victimized elderly Americans. The conspirators would falsely claim to be acting on behalf of a Federal Government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service, regarding potential tax penalties. Victims were persuaded or coerced to send packages of cash, and/or preloaded payment cards, or wire funds to pay tax bills. To conceal the international origin of the calls, the conspirators established multiple cells within the United States, to which victims were directed to send cash payments.

                              According to a Department of Justice press release dated February 22, 2021, as part of his guilty plea, Parmar admitted that over a two-year period from March 2017 to April 2019, he traveled to 30 States and collected at least 4,358 wire transfers sent by victims via Western Union®, MoneyGram®, and Walmart® with losses totaling at least $4,312,585. Parmar received and attempted to receive at least 91 packages of bulk cash sent by victims from several States within the United States via FedEx®, United Parcel Service®, or the United States Postal Service® totaling at least $1,593,591. Parmar transferred the majority of the money he collected to coconspirators by depositing the funds into bank accounts at various financial institutions or giving it directly to various informal money transfer services, known as Hawalas. For his participation in this conspiracy, Parmar retained a portion of the funds, approximately eight percent of each money transfer and two percent to seven percent of each cash shipment.

                              Parmar used counterfeit identification documents bearing his photograph alongside fictitious and stolen identities to receive money transfers. Parmar admitted that he received at least 549 counterfeit identification documents that he used to receive and collect victim cash shipments and money transfers.

                              Parmar is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2021. He faces a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and a mandatory term of two years’ imprisonment for aggravated identity theft to be served consecutively with any other prison term.
                              • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Va., Plea Agr., Feb. 22, 2021; E.D. Va., Stat. of Fact, Feb. 22, 2021; Department of Justice, Press Release, Feb. 22, 2021; and E.D. Va., Sentencing Guideline Order, Feb. 22, 2021.


                              • Tax Preparer Sentenced for Defrauding Clients Out of Approximately $4,000,000 [1]

                                On May 3, 2021, in the Central District of California, Edgardo Montalban was sentenced for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Montalban devised a scheme to defraud taxpayers of their money. On November 13, 2020, Montalban was charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

                                According to the court documents, beginning in or before 2013 and continuing through September 2020, Montalban presented himself as an accountant and tax preparer and instructed his clients to invest in a nonexistent Federal grant program. Montalban told his clients that if they paid him in cash the amount of taxes their dormant companies owed, the Federal Government would issue, to them, grants many times larger. Montalban used counterfeit U.S. Treasury checks as props to entice and obtain cash from his clients. After Montalban had his clients pay him, he made up excuses as to why their Treasury checks had been delayed, and tricked clients into paying him more money to receive the non-existent checks. Montalban defrauded his clients out of approximately $4,000,000.

                                Montalban was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, ordered to pay $4,710,400 in restitution, a $100 assessment fee, and three years of supervised release.
                                • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: C.D. Cal., Information, November 13, 2020; and C.D. Cal., J., May 5, 2021.


                                • California Woman Sentenced for her Role in a Stolen Tax Refund Check Scheme [1]

                                  On April 22, 2021, in the Western District of Missouri, Susannah Lesaisaea was sentenced for her role in a scheme involving the negotiation of stolen U.S. Treasury tax refund checks. Lesaisaea was initially charged in a 43-count indictment issued on May 2, 2018.

                                  According to the court documents, between March 11, 2016 through May 9, 2016, Lesaisaea and her coconspirators executed a scheme to defraud various branches of a financial institution. The scheme began by unlawfully obtaining U.S. Treasury tax refund checks stolen from the U.S. Postal Service mail stream. Next, Lesaisaea and her coconspirators obtained fraudulent identification documents, opened fictitious bank accounts in the names of the victims, and then cashed the stolen U.S. Treasury tax refund checks at various banks in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. Lesaisaea and her coconspirators negotiated approximately 99 stolen U.S. Treasury tax refund checks, resulting in a financial loss of more than $447,000.

                                  Lesaisaea was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for bank fraud and 24 months’ imprisonment for aggravated identity theft to run consecutively for a total of 42 months. Lesaisaea was also ordered to pay $67,707 in restitution and a $200 assessment fee. Upon release from imprisonment, she will be on supervised release for three years.
                                  • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: W.D. Mo., Indict., filed May 2, 2018; and W.D. Mo., Judg., filed April 22, 2021.


                                  • IRS Employee Sentenced for Filing False Tax Returns [1]

                                    On May 6, 2021, in the District of Massachusetts, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Lead Contact Representative Jennifer Beth True was sentenced for aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return, and the filing of a fraudulent tax return by an employee of the IRS. True was initially charged on January 13, 2020, with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

                                    According to the court documents, from approximately February 2012 through April 2017, True electronically filed more than 590 Federal tax returns for other individuals, often in exchange for money. She charged between $40 and $100 for each return she prepared knowing that she was in violation of rules prohibiting such activity by IRS employees. In addition, True prepared at least 70 IRS Forms 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, that included materially false items, such as false Individual Retirement Account deductions, false itemized deductions, and false dependent and childcare expenses that allowed True and others to receive tax refunds that they were not entitled. When interviewed, all witnesses said they had not provided True with the false information on their returns and that they did not know that True included such false information on the returns she prepared.

                                    True was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, ordered to pay $1,057,471.30 in restitution, a fine of $1,000, and an assessment fee of $800.
                                    • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D. Mass., Crim. Comp., filed Jan. 13, 2020; D. Mass. Plea Agree., filed Jul. 1, 2020; D. Mass., Info., filed Jul. 1, 2020; and D. Mass., Judg., May 5, 2021.


                                    • May 26, 2021

                                      Individual Sentenced for Bribery of an IRS Revenue Agent [1]

                                      On March 4, 2021, in the Northern District of Georgia, Dauda Saibu was sentenced for bribery of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revenue agent. On February 28, 2020, Saibu was charged and subsequently waived prosecution by indictment.

                                      According to the court documents, on October 11, 2019, Saibu met with a revenue agent to discuss his 2014 tax return. At the end of that meeting, Saibu attempted to give the revenue agent a cash bribe. The revenue agent properly reported the bribe offer and agreed to work with Federal law enforcement authorities.

                                      On October 22, 2019, Saibu had two meetings with the revenue agent to discuss the results of the IRS’s audit. During these meetings, Saibu proposed that if the revenue agent reduced his tax liability to 20% of the actual amount owed, Saibu would pay the revenue agent a $10,000 cash bribe. To memorialize the offer, Saibu wrote: (a) "$10,000" on a piece of paper and gave it to the revenue agent; and (b) "20% of the total amount I owed $187,000" on another piece of paper. After a brief negotiation, Saibu offered to pay the revenue agent an additional $5,000, for a total of $15,000.

                                      On October 23, 2019, Saibu met with the revenue agent and paid the revenue agent $10,000 in cash in exchange for reducing the amount he owed in back taxes from approximately $187,000 to $47,485.33. Saibu also confirmed that he would pay the revenue agent an additional $5,000 at a later date.

                                      Saibu was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release, fined $10,000, and assessed a penalty of $100.
                                      • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: N.D. Ga., Crim. Information filed Feb. 28, 2020, and N.D. Ga., Judg., March 4, 2021.


                                      • Kentucky Man Indicted for Making False Statements [1]

                                        On March 18, 2021, in the Eastern District of Kentucky, Charles Marshall Stivers was indicted on two counts of making false statements.

                                        According to the court documents, Stivers was initially licensed to practice as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by the State of Kentucky in 1989. On October 23, 2015, the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy permanently revoked Stivers’ CPA license by an Agreed Order, which prohibited Stivers from ever holding himself as a CPA to the public in any capacity, including to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or any other tax authority.

                                        On or about March 22, 2016, Stivers signed and submitted an IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, that declared Stivers was a CPA, License No. 12597, duly qualified to practice in Kentucky, to an IRS revenue officer knowing and believing that he was not then authorized to practice as a CPA and that License No. 12597 belonged not to him, but to his son.

                                        If convicted, Stivers could face a maximum statutory sentence of not more than five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.
                                        • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: E.D. Ky., Indict., March 18, 2021.


                                        • Internal Revenue Service Employee Indicted for Theft of Government Money [1]

                                          On April 1, 2021, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Ira Pratt was indicted for theft of Government money that is unemployment compensation benefits.

                                          According to the court documents, from in or about May 2011 through in or about January 2019, Pratt worked as a tax examining technician for the IRS located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

                                          From on or about December 3, 2016 to on or about January 28, 2017, Pratt accessed through the internet the Interactive Claims Response System of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) on a weekly basis to answer a series of questions to establish his eligibility for unemployment compensation. The DLI administered State unemployment insurance programs, including a Federal unemployment insurance program for Federal Government employees who become unemployed. Eligibility for unemployment insurance required that the individual was unemployed through no fault of his or her own.

                                          Pratt falsely stated that he was not working, that work was not available, and that he was eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits from the DLI when, in fact, he was in work status at the IRS and he was not eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits.

                                          Pratt stole and knowingly converted to his own use money of the United States that is weekly unemployment compensation benefits paid by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor totaling approximately $4,590.
                                          • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: E.D. Pa., Indict., April 1, 2021.


                                          • Florida Woman Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering [1]

                                            On April 6, 2021, in the Southern District of Florida, Jacquelyn Shafran was sentenced for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shafran was initially charged in February 2020, and pleaded guilty on April 24, 2020, to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

                                            According to the court documents, from about April 2017 through about November 2017, Shafran, a resident of Broward County, Florida, conspired with others to launder money derived from a wire fraud scam. The scam involved various individuals who call victims and pretended to be employees of various Government agencies. They falsely told victims that they owed back taxes with compounded interest and fees, or that their Social Security Number was used to perpetrate illegal activity and they needed to pay money to clear their names. The callers told victims that if they did not make immediate payments they would be arrested.

                                            As part of the conspiracy, Shafran provided her bank account information to receive funds from victims of the schemes, in exchange for a percentage of the deposited money. In addition, Shafran recruited others in the South Florida area to open multiple bank accounts, in order to receive money that she knew was derived from criminal activity. In exchange for recruiting others to open bank accounts, Shafran also received a percentage of the tainted money deposited into their accounts.

                                            Shafran and her coconspirators made sure to withdraw the stolen funds within hours of deposit by the victims. Shafran lied to law enforcement and told others to lie about the nature of the deposits, if questioned by bank employees. Despite one of her bank accounts being closed for fraud, and the bank accounts of those she recruited being closed for fraud, Shafran continued to recruit others and received money for their participation in the scheme.

                                            Shafran was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment with two years of supervised release, and home detention electronic monitoring for one year and ordered to pay restitution of $43,380 and a $100 special assessment fee.
                                            • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: S.D. Fla., Super., Feb. 20, 2020; S.D. Fla., Plea Agr., Apr. 24, 2020; S.D. Fla., Factual Agr., Apr. 24, 2020; and S.D. Fla., Judg., Apr. 6, 2021.


                                            • May 4, 2021

                                              Former IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography [1]

                                              On February 9, 2021, in the Western District of Washington, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Information Technology Specialist Rene Jacobs pled guilty to possession of child pornography.

                                              According to the court documents, beginning no later than December 2019 through February 2020, from his home in Renton, Washington, Jacobs received, distributed, and possessed tens of thousands of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct. On February 21, 2020, Federal law enforcement seized from Jacobs’ home several digital devices containing pornography videos and images of minors under 12 years of age. Each of these visual depictions had been mailed, shipped, or transported by computer via interstate or foreign commerce.

                                              At sentencing, Jacobs could receive up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Additionally, Jacobs must register as a sex offender in each jurisdiction he resides, works, or attends school. This investigation was worked jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
                                              • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: W.D. Wash., Plea Acceptance, February 9, 2021; W.D. Wash., Crim. Compl., March 16, 2020; and W.D. Wash., Plea Agr., January 25, 2021.


                                              • California Woman Arrested for Million Dollar Pandemic Relief Loans Scheme [1]

                                                On February 3, 2021, in the Northern District of California, Christina Burden was charged by criminal complaint with bank fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally obtain more than $4.6 million in pandemic relief loans. Burden was arrested on February 5, 2021.

                                                According to the court documents, between April 2020 through June 2020, Burden submitted 10 fraudulent applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, and one fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) application. Burden created four companies that did not appear to engage in a legitimate business or have employees, and listed herself as the companies’ authorized representative. Moreover, the loan applications falsely affirmed the companies’ dates of existence and falsely claimed that the companies employed upwards of 89 people with monthly payroll expenses of more than $700,000, using fictitious Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms and falsified bank statements. None of the companies paid payroll taxes or submitted any payroll tax forms to the IRS. Because of these fraudulent applications, Burden received $1,143,191 in pandemic relief funds.
                                                • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: DOJ Press Release, February 5, 2021; and N.D. Cal., Crim. Compl., February 3, 2021.


                                                • IRS Employee Charged with Tax Fraud [1]

                                                  On February 25, 2021, in the Western District of Tennessee, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Examiner Linda Williams was indicted for filing false tax returns.

                                                  According to the court documents, Williams, while employed by the IRS, prepared and electronically filed income tax returns for herself, friends, and family, and received preparation fees for her services. Williams intentionally included materially false deductions in IRS Forms 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 that she knew the taxpayers were not entitled to claim. In total, Williams prepared and filed returns claiming more than $500,000 in false deductions.

                                                  If convicted, Williams could be sentenced to up to three years’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment fee.
                                                  • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: W.D. Tenn., Indict., February 25, 2021.


                                                  • Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud for His Role in Theft of Economic Impact Payments [1]

                                                    On February 24, 2021, in the Eastern District of Texas, James Mwanza was sentenced for wire fraud. Mwanza devised a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and obtain money by filing fraudulent tax returns. Mwanza was indicted on June 18, 2020, for wire fraud, theft of Government money, and aggravated identity theft. He pled guilty on November 19, 2020.

                                                    According to the court documents, between approximately January 2020 through April 2020, Mwanza presented himself as a tax preparer and unlawfully obtained, from his employer and other sources, individuals’ means of identification, which included their names, birth dates, and Social Security Numbers. Additionally, Mwanza illegally obtained IRS Electronic Filing Numbers assigned to tax preparation firms not affiliated with him. Mwanza used the information he obtained to electronically file tax returns and claim false tax refunds totaling $7,814. The filing of the false tax returns also triggered the issuance of Economic Impact Payments totaling $3,400, which he retained.

                                                    Mwanza was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, ordered to pay $5,800 in restitution, and a $100 assessment fee.
                                                    • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Tex., Indict., June 18, 2020, and E.D. Tex., Judg., February 24, 2021.


                                                    • Former IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns [1]

                                                      On March 8, 2021, in the District of Maryland, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Management Analyst Sheila Faine Miles waived indictment and pled guilty to filing false, fictitious, and fraudulent tax returns.

                                                      According to the court documents, around January 2017 through May 2018, Miles knowingly filed fraudulent tax returns for Tax Year 2016 in an attempt to defraud the IRS of $1,433,619 in refund claims. Miles filed an IRS Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for the salary she earned while employed at the IRS as a Management Analyst for the Office of Chief Counsel and requested a refund of $7,608. Miles also filed an additional IRS Form 1040 that did not include her IRS salary or a legitimate income source and requested a refund of $600,120.

                                                      Subsequently, Miles filed IRS Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and claimed a refund of $833,499. To support her fraudulent claims, Miles submitted numerous frivolous mortgage documents, as well as Uniform Commercial Code filings.

                                                      At sentencing, Miles faces up to five years’ imprisonment, a three-year period of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a special assessment fee of $100.
                                                      • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D. Md., Waiver of Indict., March 8, 2021; D. Md., Plea Agr., March 8, 2021; and D. Md., Plea Agr. Correction, March 8, 2021.


                                                      • March 29, 2021

                                                        Medical Practice Employee Sentenced for Impersonating an IRS Employee, Aggravated Identity Theft, Tax and Bank Fraud [1]

                                                        On January 6, 2021, in the District of Oregon, Anndrea Jacobs was sentenced for filing false tax returns, false impersonation of an employee of the United States, and aggravated identity theft in connection with her former employment at a medical practice in La Grande, Oregon. In addition, by an amended judgment dated January 11, 2021, Jacobs was sentenced for bank fraud in connection with her former employment at a dental practice in Hood River, Oregon. In September 2018, Jacobs was indicted for numerous Federal offenses, including the impersonation of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee.

                                                        According to the court documents, Jacobs was involved in a scheme to defraud a former employer by embezzling approximately $1 million between January 2011 and December 2015. In order to conceal her embezzlement activity, Jacobs created false entries in the business books and records that overstated the business’ expenses and estimated tax payments. Then Jacobs convinced her former employer to grant her limited Power of Attorney to handle the employer’s collection action with the IRS. Jacobs changed her employer’s contact information with the IRS to her own and diverted all IRS correspondence and communications to herself. Jacobs then created a fictitious identity as an IRS Taxpayer Advocate, established a phone number and a voicemail account for the fictitious identity, provided her employer with a fictitious IRS tax case number, and purported to assist her employer with the IRS tax collection issues while impersonating an IRS employee.

                                                        While on pre-trial release for the aforementioned offenses, from approximately August 2019 through October 2019, Jacobs stole checks from the dental practice in Hood River, Oregon, valued at more than $22,000. On June 9, 2020, Jacobs was indicted for bank fraud.

                                                        Jacobs was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and five years’ supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $1,207,537, and a special assessment of $400. This investigation was worked jointly by TIGTA, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

                                                        • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D. Or., Amended Judg., January 11, 2021; D. Or., Judg., January 6, 2021; D. Or., Indict., June 9, 2020; and D. Or., Indict., September 12, 2018.


                                                        • Washington Man Sentenced in Scheme to Obstruct the IRS [1]

                                                          On January 11, 2021, in the District of Oregon, Theron Marrs was sentenced for tax evasion. Marrs was initially indicted on July 18, 2017, for obstructing the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws, tax evasion, and filing false Federal tax returns.

                                                          According to the court documents, Marrs was a resident of Bend, Oregon, from 2005 through July 2015, and has been a resident of Camas, Washington, since August 2015. Marrs was involved in several businesses, including debt elimination, multilevel marketing, and tax advice. He owned and operated the website livingfreeandclear.com, through which he sold and promoted abusive tax avoidance schemes.

                                                          Prior to 2010, Marrs had a history of timely filing his Federal income tax returns. However, from about February 2011, until the date of his indictment, Marrs corruptly endeavored to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws and willfully attempted to evade and defeat the payment of Federal income tax through a variety of acts.

                                                          As part of his scheme, Marrs attempted to evade the payment of more than $265,000 owed for taxes by concealing and attempting to conceal income, assets, and financial transactions from the IRS using businesses and nominee entities. In furtherance of this scheme, and as part of his efforts to impede and obstruct the IRS, Marrs sent IRS employees false payment instruments, including fraudulent bills of exchange, bonds, money orders, and checks, attempting to mislead the IRS into accepting such items as payment for his Federal income tax due.

                                                          Additionally, Marrs sent IRS employees threatening and harassing correspondence, filed bogus and retaliatory lawsuits against IRS employees, and attempted to file a criminal complaint against IRS employees. He also filed frivolous documents with the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and filed a false Uniform Commercial Code lien. For Calendar Years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010, Marrs willfully filed, under the penalties of perjury, false individual Federal tax returns with the IRS, in which he claimed minimal income for each of these years, ranging from $0 to approximately $5,515, while at the same time claiming tax refunds totaling approximately $122,348.

                                                          Marrs was sentenced to five years’ probation, and ordered to pay $264,187.69 in restitution and a $100 assessment fee.

                                                          • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D. Or., Indict., filed July 18, 2017; D. Or., Judg., January 11, 2021; and D. Or., Superseding Indict., filed April 18, 2018.


                                                          • Maryland Man Detained Pending Trial for Tweeting His Intent to Blow Up IRS Headquarters [1]

                                                            On January 25, 2021, in the District of Maryland, Cody Mohr was ordered detained pending trial for tweeting several messages indicating his intent to blow up the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

                                                            According to the court documents, on January 15, 2021, Mohr of Columbia, Maryland, tweeted several messages stating his intent to blow up the IRS’s headquarters building. The tweets indicated he was announcing his intention so that IRS employees would have the chance to escape alive. He spoke about ways to obtain firearms and how to build semi-automatic rifles. Other tweets indicated that he was focused on thinking about ways to kill Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. In another tweet, Mohr stated that it would be “cool” to drive 80 miles per hour into a million people.

                                                            Mohr admitted that he owns three firearms. Due to the nature of Mohr’s tweets and that he owns and has access to firearms, he was remanded into custody pending trial.

                                                            If convicted, Mohr could receive up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

                                                            • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D. Md., Order, January 22, 2021; D. Md., Aff., January 20, 2021; and D. Md., Order, January 25, 2021.


                                                            • IRS Special Agent Charged with Identity Theft and Wire Fraud [1]

                                                              On January 22, 2021, in the Eastern District of New York, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) Special Agent Bryan Cho was indicted for making false statements, possessing a false foreign passport, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud. Cho, who has been employed with IRS-CI since 2008, used information he obtained during the course of his official duties to engage in various unlawful activities.

                                                              According to the court documents, in or about 2018, law enforcement agents in South Korea learned that public officials who worked at South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and National Tax Service paid Cho bribes in exchange for information Cho obtained through his employment with IRS-CI. In 2018, while Cho was visiting Asia for personal reasons, law enforcement agents from South Korea contacted Cho and sought to question him about his knowledge of and participation in the alleged bribery scheme.

                                                              During the course of his employment, Cho worked on an investigation through which he obtained identifying information for an individual described as “John Doe.” The investigation was eventually closed, but Cho retained items he obtained during the investigation and used John Doe’s identifying information to create false identification documents and open a corporate entity overseas in John Doe’s name. The fraudulent documents included purported identification cards for the Philippines and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the name of John Doe, but bearing photos of Cho, and a purported passport in the name of John Doe for the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

                                                              Cho later made false statements during a background investigation, including denying that he possessed any foreign identification documents. Cho also denied any contacts with foreign officials, even though law enforcement officials from South Korea had communications with him regarding allegations that the South Korean government personnel had paid bribes to Cho in exchange for information about ongoing U.S. criminal investigations.

                                                              Cho also submitted multiple false documents in connection with the purchase of a co-op apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, including forged tax returns and bank statements that inflated his income and assets to secure the co-op board’s approval for the purchase, and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a foreign bank account associated with an entity he created using John Doe’s identity to fund the purchase.

                                                              Cho, deemed a potential flight risk, was remanded to custody. If convicted, Cho could receive more than 20 years’ imprisonment.

                                                              • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D.N.Y., Indict., January 22, 2021; and E.D.N.Y., Arraignment, January 26, 2021.


                                                              • New York Man Sentenced for Bribing an IRS Revenue Agent [1]

                                                                On February 4, 2021, in the Eastern District of New York, Mohammad Sayeem was sentenced for bribery of a public official. Sayeem was indicted on September 17, 2020, for intentionally offering something of value to a public official acting on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with intent to influence one or more official acts.

                                                                According to the court documents, the IRS initiated an audit in early 2019 to determine if Sayeem underreported certain taxable income. Between June 17, 2019 and February 19, 2020, Sayeem and an IRS revenue agent met on three occasions at Sayeem’s residence. During these meetings, Sayeem made escalating overtures to the revenue agent concerning an illegal disposition of the audit. Specifically, on February 19, 2020, Sayeem offered to give the revenue agent a Michael Kors wristwatch and $1,500 in cash in exchange for the revenue agent to falsely certify that Sayeem did not have any tax liability due to the IRS. However, based on the results of the audit, Sayeem owed approximately $30,000 to the IRS. After Sayeem received fictitious documentation reflecting the tax liability was eliminated, he gave the revenue agent the wristwatch and cash.

                                                                Sayeem was sentenced to 18 months’ supervised release, including six months’ home incarceration, and ordered to pay a fine of $15,000 and a $100 assessment.

                                                                • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D.N.Y., Indict., filed September 17, 2020; E.D.N.Y., Letter, filed September 23, 2020; and E.D.N.Y., Judg., filed February 4, 2021.


                                                                • February 27, 2021

                                                                  Georgia Mother and Daughter Indicted for Defrauding the IRS [1]

                                                                  On December 9, 2020, in the Middle District of Georgia, Jacqueline Bosby and her daughter Jataryia Thomas were indicted for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the submission of a false application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant.

                                                                  According to the court documents, between approximately July 2014 through January 2016, an entity called Express Home Program Inc., doing business as CASH Prosperity Campaign Inc. (CASH), applied for and was awarded a grant for $50,000 from the IRS’s VITA Program. Bosby identified herself as the Chief Executive Officer and Financial Administrator for CASH, while Thomas identified herself as the Chief Financial Officer of CASH. Thomas submitted two separate claims for funds totaling $50,000. Upon IRS review, it was discovered that Bosby and Thomas provided false information in their VITA grant application, and failed to disclose their mother-daughter relationship. During the review, Bosby and Thomas also submitted fabricated receipts and volunteer logs to the IRS to support the retention of the funds that had been obtained.

                                                                  If convicted, Bosby and Thomas could individually receive a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1 million.

                                                                  • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: M.D. Ga., Indict, December 9, 2020.


                                                                  • Telemarketing Call Center Owner and Director Pleads Guilty in Transnational Fraud Scheme [1]

                                                                    On November 30, 2020, in the Eastern District of New York, Ajay Sharma, owner and director of an India-based telemarketing call center, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a fraudulent scheme directed at thousands of United States citizens.

                                                                    According to the court documents, from approximately January 2018 through September 2018, Sharma organized and led a telemarketing scheme through his telemarketing company, APS Technology. Operating from India, Sharma’s company targeted victims in the United States and falsely claimed to represent the Internal Revenue Service, among other Federal agencies. The victims were informed that they owed a sum of money to the United States Government and that they would be arrested if the debts were not promptly paid. After the victims wired payments to bank accounts opened for the purposes of the scheme, the funds were withdrawn and laundered through additional bank accounts. The scheme is estimated to have netted more than $2 million from victims across the United States.

                                                                    At sentencing, Sharma could receive up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $2.5 million, and forfeiture of $1 million.

                                                                    • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: E.D.N.Y. Indict, January 17, 2019, E.D.N.Y. Change of Plea, November 30, 2020, and E.D.N.Y. press release, November 30, 2020.


                                                                    • Tax Preparer Sentenced to Two Years’ Imprisonment for Tax Fraud [1]

                                                                      On December 14, 2020, in the Northern District of Georgia, tax preparer Stanley Everage was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud the United States. Everage was initially indicted on February 19, 2019, for aiding the filing of a false tax return and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

                                                                      According to the court documents, beginning in 2010 and continuing until 2016, Everage, Chief Executive Officer of a tax preparation business, conspired to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns for his clients. Without the knowledge and consent of his clients, Everage knowingly added false income information such as wages, fictitious businesses, and erroneous tax credits to his clients’ tax returns. As part of the conspiracy, Everage kept a portion of the fraudulent tax refunds for himself and paid the balance to his clients. Upon learning the IRS froze several of his clients’ tax returns, Everage furthered the conspiracy by filing a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Everage falsely informed TIGTA that all of the information within the tax returns came from his clients.

                                                                      Everage was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $110,840 in restitution. This investigation was worked jointly by TIGTA and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

                                                                      • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: N.D. Ga., Judg., December 14, 2020; N.D. Ga., Indict., February 19, 2019; and N.D. Ga., Mins., December 14, 2020.


                                                                      • January 27, 2021

                                                                        Former Michigan Health Care Consultant Sentenced for Fraud and Tax Evasion [1]

                                                                        On October 27, 2020, in the Eastern District of Michigan, Sonja Emery pled guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. Emery was initially charged in an 11-count indictment on April 10, 2018, for mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, and corrupt endeavor to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

                                                                        According to the 11-count indictment, between approximately May 2011 and October 2015, Emery undertook extensive efforts to evade and defeat the assessment and payment of Federal income tax due by her. In some instances, Emery provided her employers with different names and false Social Security Numbers on her tax forms so that the IRS would not be able to link her with the income she earned. Twice in 2011 and once in 2012, Emery filed false IRS Forms W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, with her employers, claiming to be exempt from Federal income tax withholding. In January 2012, the IRS began collection proceedings against Emery, ultimately issuing notices of levy to her employers. Emery obtained an Internet-based fax number and used it to transmit a forged IRS form that fraudulently declared a much lower tax debt. Emery then falsely informed the employer she had satisfied that debt and provided yet another false document to substantiate this claim.

                                                                        Emery was sentenced to 65 months’ incarceration for mail and wire fraud, 60 months’ incarceration for tax evasion, three years’ supervised release, ordered to pay restitution of more than $2.9 million, and a $200 special assessment fee.

                                                                        • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Mich. Indict. April 10, 2018, E.D. Mich. Superseding Indict. October 2, 2018, E.D. Mich. Plea Agreement February 18, 2020, and E.D. Mich. Judgment October 27, 2020.


                                                                        • Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud for His Role in Theft of Economic Impact Payments [1]

                                                                          On November 19, 2020, in the Eastern District of Texas, James Mwanza pled guilty to wire fraud. Mwanza devised a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and obtain money by filing fraudulent tax returns. Mwanza was indicted on June 18, 2020 for wire fraud, theft of Government money, and aggravated identity theft.

                                                                          According to the court documents, between approximately January 2020 through about April 2020, Mwanza presented himself as a tax preparer and unlawfully obtained from his employer and other sources personal identification information of individuals, which included their names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers. Mwanza also unlawfully obtained IRS Electronic Filing Numbers assigned to tax preparation firms not affiliated with him, to electronically file the returns and claim false tax refunds totaling $7,814. The filing of the false tax returns also triggered the issuance of Economic Impact Payments totaling $3,400.

                                                                          If convicted, Mwanza could receive a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

                                                                          • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Tex., Indict., June 18, 2020, and E.D. Tex., Change of Plea, November 19, 2020.


                                                                          • Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Clients Out of $4,000,000 [1]

                                                                            On November 13, 2020, in the Central District of California, Edgardo Montalban was charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Montalban devised a scheme to defraud taxpayers of their money.

                                                                            According to the court documents, beginning in or before 2013 continuing through September 2020, Montalban presented himself as an accountant and tax preparer and instructed his clients to invest in a non-existent Federal grant program. Montalban told his clients that if they paid him in cash the amount of taxes their dormant companies owed, the Federal Government would issue them grants many times larger. Montalban used counterfeit U.S. Treasury checks as props to entice and obtain the cash from his clients. After Montalban had his clients pay him, he made up excuses as to why their Treasury checks had been delayed, and tricked the victims into paying him more money to receive the non-existent checks. Montalban defrauded his clients out of approximately $4,000,000.

                                                                            At sentencing, Montalban could receive a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000.

                                                                            • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: C.D. Cal., Information, November 13, 2020, and C.D. Cal., Plea Agr., November 13, 2020.


                                                                            • Former Fresno IRS Employee Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Tax Fraud [1]

                                                                              On December 8, 2020, in the Eastern District of California, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax examiner Marcela Heredia was sentenced to six years in prison for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and making and subscribing a false return. Heredia was indicted on April 6, 2017, for devising a scheme to defraud the IRS and taxpayers by submitting fraudulent income tax returns.

                                                                              According to the court documents, beginning around February 2011 and continuing through September 2013, Heredia worked at the IRS and at a transitional living center where young adults reside. Heredia told residents at the transitional living center that she was an IRS employee who could prepare their individual tax returns. Rather than completing tax returns as agreed, Heredia told the residents they did not earn enough income to file a tax return. Without their knowledge, Heredia then used the residents’ personal identifying information, to include full names and Social Security Numbers, to file fraudulent individual tax returns with the IRS. The tax returns contained false employers, education expenses, wages, and dependents. On each fraudulent tax return, Heredia indicated the IRS should send the refunds to her. In the individual tax returns submitted to the IRS, Heredia falsely claimed more than $20,000 in refunds.

                                                                              Heredia was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $39,905, and a special assessment fee of $1,200.

                                                                              • [1] The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Cal., J., December 8, 2020, and E.D. Cal., Indict., April 6, 2017.



                                                                              • Archives:  2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016


                                                                                Recent Spotlight

                                                                                Report a Crime or IRS Employee Misconduct

                                                                                FOIA button


                                                                                Search Site
                                                                                 



                                                                                Readers and Viewers
                                                                                Adobe Acrobat Reader

                                                                                External Links to other sites
                                                                                External Link Treasury Supports Veterans

                                                                                External Link to Oversight.gov




                                                                                Last Updated: October 08, 2021
                                                                                external external external external external