The Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced that Matthew Bender, of Detroit, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. to serve 48 months in prison and one year of supervised release.
On March 18, after a fourday trial, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan convicted Bender of obstructing the IRS and of nine counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns. On June 4, another jury convicted Bender of failing to make a required appearance in court. Today’s sentencing is for all of Bender’s convictions.
According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, between 2006 and 2011, Bender prepared more than 3,000 tax returns and earned more than $500,000 in fees. However, Bender failed to report his own income from tax preparation to the IRS, either by filing false tax returns for himself or by failing to file his own tax returns at all. The evidence also showed that Bender caused inflated tax refunds for his customers by placing false deductions on their returns.
After the initial indictment prior to his first trial, Bender was ordered by Judge Cook Jr. to appear in court July 2, 2013, concerning his failure to comply with his conditions of release. Bender failed to appear in court on that date and was arrested in August 2013 by the U.S. Marshals Service after returning to Michigan from traveling to Ohio and Texas.
The case was investigated by special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation and TIGTA. Trial Attorneys Jeffrey McLellan and Kenneth Vert of the department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at the division website .