FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
OCTOBER 15, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY TAX PROTESTOR SENTENCED TO OVER TWO YEARS FOR FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Andrew Isaac Chance, age 61, of Clinton, Maryland today to 27 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release, after being convicted by a federal jury at trial for filing a false tax return, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“Andrew Chance filed a false tax return stating that federal income taxes had been withheld and were due to be refunded to him. Anyone who files a false tax return should be prepared to suffer the consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
Special Agent in Charge, Francis L. Turner, IRS, Criminal Investigation stated "Willfully filing a false tax return is the same as stealing and there are serious consequences which is evident from the sentence today."
According to testimony at his two-day trial, on August 9, 2006, Chance sent to the IRS a tax return for 2005 in the name of the “ANDREW CHANCE TRUST” and listed “Andrew Isaac Chance” as the beneficiary. In this return, Chance claimed that the trust had income of $920,259 and a deduction of $920,259 for fiduciary fees. He claimed an exemption amount of $7,950, even though the proper exemption amount was $300. Chance also claimed that $306,753 in federal income tax withheld had been paid to the IRS, and therefore that the Trust was owed a refund of $306,753. Chance did not include any trust documents, designation of beneficiaries, proof of income, or proof of withholding with the return when he submitted it to the IRS. The IRS issued a check on September 19, 2006 made payable to Chance as the trustee in the amount of $316,137.35, which included both the claimed refund amount and additional interest totaling $9,384.35.
Chance attempted to cash the check at the ACE Cash Express located in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September 26, producing a fake badge and a fake “Diplomatic Identification” card from the State of Maryland, which identified him as “Ambassador Andrew Isaac Chance.” Montgomery County Police officers called to the scene arrested Chance on charges of passing a falsely made public document with intent to defraud, and confiscated the IRS check.
Although Chance was told that the IRS check was being held by the police as evidence, he made numerous calls to the IRS Service Center, the Montgomery County Police and IRS agents in an effort to retrieve the check or to have a new check issued. Chance also sent a tax refund form to the IRS on December 13, 2006 in which he falsely claimed that his refund check had been lost, stolen, or destroyed, and requested a replacement check.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Montgomery County Police Department for their investigative work, and commended Assistant United States Attorney Steve Dunne, who prosecuted the case.