|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||January 16, 2014|
Freeport Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Fraud
ROCKFORD — A Freeport, Ill. man pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to a federal charge relating to his preparation of fraudulent federal income tax returns. The defendant, JASON BOOTH, 32, admitted that he conspired with others to defraud the United States Department of the Treasury by obtaining payments through fraudulent claims for individual income tax refunds.
According to the written plea agreement, between March 2006 and January 2008, Booth created false returns, knowing that the taxpayers whose names he put on the false returns had not authorized him to use false information in the returns. Some of the taxpayers had authorized Booth to create income tax returns for them, but many did not know Booth. Due to the false information, the income tax returns claimed refunds that were not actually owed to the taxpayers. After creating the false returns, Booth filed them electronically with the IRS. When claimed refunds were approved and disbursed by the IRS, the refunds were wired to bank accounts that had been designated by Booth when he electronically filed the false returns. Some of those accounts were owned by Booth, but several were owned by others that conspired with Booth. The co-conspirators were allowed to keep a portion of each refund in exchange for the use of their accounts for the deposit of the refunds. They delivered the balance of the refunds to Booth. Booth used the co-conspirators accounts because he was not always able to open accounts in his name and because using varied accounts made discovery of his filing false returns less likely. Booth admitted that as a result of the filing of the false federal income tax returns, $159,926.98 was disbursed by the IRS into the accounts he designated.
Booth is scheduled to be sentenced on April 23, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. Booth faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000. The Court may also impose a term of probation of between 1 and 5 years, and must order restitution to the victims of the offense in an amount determined by the Court.
The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and James C. Lee, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.
Direct: (312) 353-5318, Cell: (312) 613-6700