Justice News

Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Utah Man Charged with Tax Fraud and Bank Structuring

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City has returned an indictment charging Michael Lavery with one count of presenting a false claim to the United States and one count of structuring a currency transaction to avoid the reporting requirements, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.

According to the indictment, in February of 2009, Michael Lavery, a resident of Sandy, Utah, filed a joint 2008 income tax return, claiming an income tax refund of over $249,000 that was based on the use of false IRS Forms 1099-OID. The indictment further alleges that Lavery attempted to structure a transaction, by making withdrawals of $10,000 or less from the proceeds of his false income tax return, in order to evade the laws that require financial institutions to report currency transactions that exceed $10,000.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Lavery faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

The case is being investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Michael Romano and Stuart Wexler of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

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