Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Scheme
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Norman Perry, 51, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa, to making a false claim to the United States and aggravated identity theft. Making a false claim to the United States carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of two years in prison, to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed on the false claim charge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who handled the case, stated that the defendant posted advertisements in Rochester claiming that he could find lost or unclaimed funds. Individuals then provided Perry with their name, address and social security number and agreed to pay the defendant a fee, generally in the amount of $300, for each $1,000 check they received. In reality, Perry used the information to prepare and file false and fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that the individuals had qualified educational expenditures and were entitled to receive the American Opportunity Credit, a refundable tax credit for educational expenses. None of the individuals were students, none had incurred any educational expenditures and none provided such information to Perry.
In addition, the defendant filed a false tax return with the IRS in another individual’s name, and had the check sent to an address in Rochester. The check was subsequently cashed.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 14th, at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Siragusa.