Couple Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To File $1.9 Million False Tax Claim
Orlando, Florida - Jamie Russ-Walls (38) and her husband Richard Walls (42), both of Philadelphia, today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file a false tax claim with the government. The couple faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, on November 30, 2009, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) determined that a fraudulent 2008 Form 1040 claiming a $1,968,288 tax refund had been filed in the name of a professional athlete, A.G. Agents soon learned that A.G. had been introduced to a former IRS employee, Jamie Russ-Walls. A.G. had been told that Jamie Russ-Walls could help A.G. get money back from the IRS.
At the end of July 2009, Jamie Russ-Walls and Richard Walls flew to Orlando and met with A.G. Jamie Russ-Walls indicated that she and her husband worked in the tax preparation business. After providing copies of his records to the couple, A.G. was told that he could get additional money back from the IRS because of “grey areas” in his tax returns. A.G. eventually made a $100,000 down payment to Richard Walls and Jaime Russ-Walls, towards the tax preparation fee.
On September 16, 2009, a fraudulent 2008 Form 1040 was filed in A.G.’s name by Richard Walls and Jamie Russ-Walls. This return had been prepared and reviewed by Jamie Russ-Walls. The form included false business losses totaling $5,367,775, resulting in a fraudulent refund of $1,968,288. A.G. never had any involvement with these businesses and never had provided the information on the tax schedule to Richard Walls or Jamie Russ-Walls. The false return also included other paperwork seeking to direct deposit the refund into the bank accounts of A.G. and Jamie Russ-Walls. A.G. subsequently learned of the fraudulent activity when the IRS rejected his regular tax return that was filed on October 14, 2009.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.
The Office of U.S. Attorney
A. Lee Bentley
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the Middle District of Florida
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