Santa Fe Man Arrested on Federal Tax Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Andre Lewis, 33, of Santa Fe, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., this morning on an indictment charging him with federal tax offenses, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Dawn Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation.
Lewis was arrested without incident by the IRS yesterday afternoon. He remains in custody pending his arraignment hearing and a detention hearing, both of which are scheduled on May 12, 2014.
Lewis is charged in an eleven-count indictment that was filed on April 23, 2014. Count 1 of the indictment charges Lewis with conspiracy to defraud the IRS. Count 2 charges him with making a materially false statement to a federal officer. Counts 3 through 11 charge Lewis with preparing and aiding and abetting the preparation and filing of false tax returns. Lewis allegedly committed the offenses between Feb. 2009 and Aug. 2009 in Bernalillo, County, N.M.
According to Count 1 of the indictment, from Feb. to July 2009, Lewis conspired with others to defraud the IRS by preparing and filing fraudulent claims for tax refunds. Lewis and his co-conspirators allegedly perpetuated the scheme by obtaining the names, identifiers and W-2 Forms for federal taxpayers, and using that information to electronically file federal income tax returns included either false claims for the First Time Home Buyer Credit or false withholding information. Lewis and his conspirators allegedly obtained tax refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS.
Counts 3 through 11 of the indictment identify nine separate instances in which Lewis allegedly filed or assisted in the filing of false federal tax returns that sought an aggregate of $97,803.00 in tax refunds. Based on those allegedly fraudulent filings, the IRS deposited an aggregate of $95,058.12 into bank accounts identified in the false tax returns, including five deposits made into Lewis’s bank accounts.
Count 2 of the indictment alleges that on Aug. 13, 2009, Lewis knowingly made a materially false statement to a Special Agent of the IRS. Lewis allegedly told the agent that he did not have an email address bearing his name knowing that his representation was false because he allegedly had used the email address to electronically file false federal income tax returns.
If convicted, Lewis faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years on each of Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment and a statutory maximum penalty of three years on each of Counts 3 through 11 of the indictment. Charges in indictments are merely accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty.
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation in Albuquerque and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Weisman.