Third Conspirator Sentenced for Claiming Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in False Tax Refunds

November 30, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Al David Toler, age 40, of Silver Spring, Maryland, to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to defraud the United States and making false claims for tax refunds. Judge Chasanow also entered an order of restitution to the IRS of $48,840.36 and an order of restitution to individual victims of $7,400.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Assistant Attorney General John DiCicco of the Department of Justice, Tax Division; and Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to Toler’s plea agreement, throughout 2008 and 2009, Toler conspired with Thomas Johnson and Harry Williams to file false individual and trust tax returns with the IRS that claimed refunds to which the taxpayers named on the return were not entitled. The returns falsely reported that certain federal taxes had been withheld, which increased the amount of taxes purportedly paid to the IRS and the size of the refund that could be sought. False claims totaling over $1.2 million were mailed to the IRS.

Toler, Johnson and Williams also claimed to clients that they could reduce or eliminate their debt, including mortgage, credit card and other debt. Williams and Johnson would prepare amended individual income tax returns that falsely reported that income tax had been withheld in amounts that substantially exceeded the amount of tax paid. On that basis, the returns claimed tax refunds, the amount of which approximated the debt to be eliminated. The defendants charged fees of between $10,000 and $69,000 to prepare the false forms.

On November 15, 2010 Judge Chasanow sentenced Thomas Arrona Johnson, age 56, of Burtonsville, Maryland, and Harry James Williams, age 46, of Clarksburg, Maryland, to five years in prison and six years in prison, respectively, for their participation in the conspiracy. Williams was sentenced in absentia after he failed to appear in court, and Judge Chasanow issued a warrant for his arrest.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General John DiCicco commended the IRS-CI for its investigative work and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Michael Pauzé and Trial Attorney Jessica Nuzzelillo of the Department of Justice Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

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