Tyrone Thompson was sentenced today to 137 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson in the Middle District of Georgia for conspiracy and filing fraudulent tax returns in order to receive tax refunds, to which the defendant was not entitled, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. In addition to Thompson, the scheme involved four others who had already been sentenced. Judge Lawson also ordered Thompson to pay $516,363 in restitution to the IRS. In October 2012, all five defendants pleaded guilty to filing a false claim for tax refunds. In addition, Thompson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false claims for tax refunds.
According to court documents, Thompson organized a scheme in which he prepared and filed fraudulent federal income tax returns using the names of other individuals. He included with the returns fictitious Schedules C reporting business income and losses and also claimed false First-Time Homebuyer Credits, in order to obtain tax refunds to which he and his co-defendants were not entitled. He directed fraudulently-obtained refunds to be deposited to his co-defendants’ bank accounts. The attempted tax refund fraud exceeded $400,000.
“Today’s lengthy jail sentence sends a strong message that those who would consider committing tax fraud should think carefully about the serious risks involved,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division Kathryn Keneally. “As millions of honest, hard-working taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns, they should be assured that those who would shirk their civic duty or try to ‘game the system’ will be investigated by the IRS and, where appropriate, criminally prosecuted by the Department of Justice.”
“These folks are stealing from every good tax paying citizen, and we won’t tolerate it,” said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Michael J. Moore.
“Tyrone Thompson organized a scheme to file fraudulent tax returns using the identities of third parties in order to receive false refunds,” said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigations. “Mr. Thompson cheated the government by filing false Schedule C and false First-Time Homebuyer Credit forms to increase the fraudulent tax refunds. IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud a top priority and we will vigorously pursue those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system.”
Assistant Attorney General Keneally commended the efforts of Special Agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Charles Edgar and Alexander Effendi of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.