FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2006
PUEBLO WOMAN ARRESTED FOR FILING IRS FALSE REFUND CLAIMS
DENVER - Bill Leone, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Terry L. Stuart, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office, announced that SYDESSAH NYESSAH LEWIS, age 31, of Pueblo, Colorado, was arrested today without incident by IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents. LEWIS was arrested following her indictment on February 6, 2006 by a federal grand jury in Denver for filing false refund claims. LEWIS made her initial appearance and was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon. She was released on a unsecured $10,000 bond pending trial.
According to the indictment, LEWIS was charged with seven counts of filing false income tax refund claims totaling $27,090. LEWIS allegedly filed false forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ while a resident of Colorado Springs, for the years 2000 through 2002.
The IRS established the Questionable Refund Program to deal with the serious problem of refund fraud, which has increased significantly in recent years. “The IRS estimates that fraudulent refund claims now exceed a half-billion dollars a year,” said Terry L. Stuart, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.
If convicted, the defendant faces up to 5 years in federal prison, and/or up to a $250,000 fine per count.
The investigation was conducted by Special Agents with the IRS-Criminal Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Mydans.
Suspected tax fraud should be reported to the IRS using IRS Form 3949-A, Information Referral or by calling 1-800-829-3676. The form is available from the IRS web site at www.irs.gov, or through the U.S. Mail by calling 1-800-829-3676. The completed form or a letter detailing the alleged fraudulent activity should be addressed to the Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, California, 93888. The mailing should include specific information about who is being reported, the activity being reported, how the activity became known, when the alleged violation took place, the amount of money involved and any other information that might be helpful in an investigation. The person filing the report is not required to self-identify, although it is helpful to do so. The identity of the person filing the report can be kept confidential. The person may also be entitled to a reward.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.