Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Filing a False Claim for Tax Refund

Michael Lavery, a resident of Sandy, Utah, pleaded guilty yesterday for presenting a false claim to the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Lavery appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner in Salt Lake City.


According to the plea agreement, in February 2009, Lavery filed a false joint 2008 income tax return claiming an income tax refund of $249,373. Lavery’s false claim was based on the use of fictitious Forms 1099-OID, Original Issue Discount. Lavery created the fictitious Forms 1099-OID and filed the false tax return with the assistance of others.


The plea agreement further states that in February 2009, after receiving an income tax refund of $249,373, Lavery purposely withdrew the refund from his bank in amounts of $10,000 or less so that the bank would not file a Currency Transaction Report.


Lavery faces a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.


Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, commended the investigative efforts of IRS - Criminal Investigation special agents, who investigated the case, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Michael Romano and Stuart Wexler, who are prosecuting the case.


Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29, 2012, befor e Chief Judge Ted Stewart in Salt Lake City.

Updated September 15, 2014