Former East Bay Resident Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To File False Claims With IRS
SAN FRANCISCO – Clexton Ward pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco Wednesday to Conspiracy to File False Claims, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Marcus Williams, announced.
In pleading guilty, Ward acknowledged participating in a conspiracy to file false income tax returns electronically with the IRS. Ward admitted that, as part of the conspiracy, he gathered and supplied the names, personal identifying information and bank accounts that were used to file the false tax returns. Ward acknowledged that the false tax returns requested that the fraudulent refunds be deposited into various bank accounts controlled by either him or by his co-conspirators, and that he and his co-conspirators split the proceeds from the fraudulent refunds.
On April 17, 2012, Ward was charged with one count of Conspiracy to File False Claims. He pleaded guilty to that count and is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Dec. 5, 2012, before United States District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of Conspiracy to File False Claims, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C § 286 is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Matthew Kluge, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, and Thomas Newman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, are the attorneys who are prosecuting this case with the assistance of Kathy Tat. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS, Criminal Investigation.