A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City today returned an indictment charging Paul Ben Zaccardi, a resident of Sandy, Utah, with five counts of presenting false, fictitious and fraudulent claims to the United States, and three counts of passing fictitious obligations.
According to the indictment, on or about Aug. 20, 2008, Zaccardi submitted five false claims to the United States by filing income tax returns for the years 1996 through 2000, seeking refunds to which he was not entitled. Altogether, Zaccardi sought refunds totaling $1,510,251. The indictment further charges that Zaccardi submitted fictitious obligations to the United States that purported to pay his tax debts. The first of these was submitted in July 2008 and claimed to be valued at $5,000,000; the second and third were submitted in November of 2009 and claimed to be valued at $300,000,000 each.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Zaccardi faces a maximum of 100 years in prison.
The case is being investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Michael Romano and Stuart Wexler.