Plantation Woman Sentenced for Interfering with the IRS and Filing False Tax Returns
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced that Roanne Eye, 57 of Plantation, was sentenced this morning on tax charges. U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn, sitting in Ft. Lauderdale, sentenced Eye to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.
The evidence at trial revealed that Eye attempted to obstruct and interfere with the functions of the IRS in a number of ways. For example, Eye told her employer not to comply with IRS notices and submitted IRS forms falsely claiming she was exempt from income tax withholding. In addition, Eye failed to file timely income tax returns for tax years 1996 and 1999 through 2005 -- even after she received notices that her taxes were due. In March 2006, she filed tax returns for 1996 and 1999 through 2005, all of which falsely claimed refunds to which she was not entitled. She subsequently filed fraudulent returns for tax year 2006. The total amount of refunds falsely claimed by Eye is more than $1 million.
On her initial returns filed in March 2006, Eye falsely reported FICA taxes paid as federal tax withheld. She then used a 1099-OID scheme to determine the refund amount. The 1099-OID scheme is based on the proposition that every individual has an outstanding credit with the Department of the Treasury. A citizen can acquire or redeem these funds by using his/her Social Security number. Under this method, the taxpayer uses a secret Treasury account to pay debts and claim false withholding credits. The taxpayer files a Form 1099-OID naming his/her creditors as “recipients.” The amount of debt is listed on the form as withholding. If processed by the IRS, the amount listed as withholding is applied as a credit to the taxpayer’s account. The taxpayer then files a false Form 1040 claiming a refund for the fictitious withholding amount.
In addition to filing the fraudulent income tax returns, Eye flooded the IRS with frivolous letters sent to IRS offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico challenging the authority of the IRS to collect taxes from her.
U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the agents of the IRS-CID for their hard work in this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keene and Matthew Mueller formerly of the Tax Division of the Department of Justice.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.