Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
June 5, 2012
FEDERAL GRAND JURY RETURNS TWO COUNT INDICTMENT FOR TAX FRAUD
Heber couple arrested after claiming false tax refund in excess of $125,000
PHOENIX – On May 29, 2012, a federal grand jury returned a two count indictment against Lowell and Catherine Mowery, 62 and 61, of Heber, Ariz., for conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to a claim and false claim upon the United States. The Mowerys were arrested today on those charges.
The indictment alleges that in March 2009, the Mowerys conspired and agreed to participate in a scheme to obtain a payment based upon a false claim for a refund from the IRS. The Mowerys made the claim when they filed a false federal income tax return for the 2008 tax year. The Mowerys claimed a refund of $125,366, to which they knew they were not entitled. The fraudulent claim was based primarily upon representations that money had been withheld by various financial institutions on behalf of the couple during 2008, and that the couple was entitled to the claimed withholdings. No such withholdings ever occurred.
A conviction for conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to a claim carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for false claim upon the United States carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Frederick A Battista, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-8133-PCT-NVW
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-142(Mowery_etal)
# # #For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az