News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Manteca Couple Indicted for Filing False Claims for Refunds and for Filing Liens Against the IRS Commissioner

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Docket #: 2:13-cr-311 JAM



SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Manteca residents Robert Eldon Robertson and his wife Esther Lynne Robertson were indicted on charges of filing two false claims for federal tax refunds, filing liens against the former IRS commissioner, and for impeding the administration of the federal tax laws, the Justice Department and IRS announced today. The indictment was unsealed Thursday in federal court in Sacramento.

According to the indictment, the Robertsons filed two false federal income tax returns claiming large refunds based on fictitious Form 1099-OID withholdings: one for tax year 2005 claiming a $90,538 refund, and one for 2007 claiming a $313,248 refund. The indictment also charges both defendants with each filing a false lien against the property of the IRS commissioner. According to the indictment, the Robertsons also sent a bogus “international promissory note” with a request that the IRS apply the purported $800,000 face value of the note towards their outstanding tax liabilities. The IRS also received a letter containing credit card bills belonging to the Robertsons and asking the IRS to pay on their behalf the nearly $20,000 of credit card debt.

If convicted, the Robertsons face a maximum of five years in prison for each false claim count, three years in prison for the obstruction count, and 10 years in prison for the count of filing false liens. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is the product of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ignacio Perez de la Cruz of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Segal in the Eastern District of California.



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