Jury Convicts Defendant on Tax Charges
Sroufe Presented a Tax Return to the IRS Falsely Claiming a $1.7 Million Refund
ATLANTA - A federal jury in Atlanta convicted Donus R. Sroufe, 55, of Suwanee, Ga. of interfering with the administration of revenue laws and making a false claim for a $1.7 million tax refund.
“Millions of Americans file their tax returns honestly every year, while Mr. Sroufe tried to defraud the Government out of $1.7 million dollars,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Fortunately, the IRS intercepted the return and, as a result, no taxpayer funds were paid out. Given the present climate with the federal budget, it is critically important to prevent fraudsters from stealing tax funds instead of paying them.”
“The prosecution of individuals who intentionally try to impede the IRS by submitting frivolous and fraudulent documents is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system,” stated Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Hopefully the verdict today will send a message to other individuals like Sroufe, that this conduct will not be tolerated.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, in March 2009, Sroufe filed a United States Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040) for 2008. He claimed a tax refund of $1.7 million. On that tax return, Sroufe falsely claimed that he received $2.5 million from a United States Treasury bond, and that he had paid over $2.6 million in federal taxes. In fact, the $2.5 million bond was a fake and he had not paid any income taxes for 2008.
In April 2009, the IRS notified Sroufe that his 2008 tax return was “frivolous” and warned him that he could face a penalty for filing a false return. Also, in June 2009, two IRS Special Agents met with Sroufe in person and notified him that the $2.5 million bond appeared to be a fictitious financial instrument.
Sroufe ignored those warnings and in August, 2009, he mailed an identical copy of the 2008 tax return to the United States Department of the Treasury. The return included a copy of the fake $2.5 million bond, and demanded a $1.7 million tax refund.
Today, the jury found Sroufe guilty of interfering with the administration of the revenue laws and for making a false claim for a tax refund. The most serious of the charges (filing a false claim) carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 30, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. before United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Shanya J. Dingle, Jeffrey W. Davis, and Steven D. Grimberg are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.