News and Press Releases

Reno Motorcycle Shop Owner Indicted for False Income Tax Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2002

Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Byram Tichenor, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation for Nevada and Utah, announced that JAMES HOWARD GRIFFITH, JR., age 57 of Reno, Nevada, was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Reno on four counts of making and subscribing false income tax returns, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1).


According to the Indictment filed on March 6, 2002, in U.S. District Court in Reno, GRIFFITH, a motorcycle/ATV/jet ski shop owner in Reno, willfully made and subscribed false federal individual income tax returns for the calendar years 1994 through 1997. The Indictment alleges that GRIFFITH committed the following acts: for the calendar year 1994, GRIFFITH falsely stated that he incurred losses in his "S Corporation" income in the amount of $20,980, when he knew and believed his "S Corporation" income was substantially understated; for the calendar year 1995, GRIFFITH willfully made and subscribed a false federal individual income tax return by falsely stating that he incurred losses in his "S Corporation" income in the amount of $13,357, when he knew and believed his "S Corporation" income was substantially understated; for the calendar year 1996, GRIFFITH willfully made and subscribed a false federal individual income tax return by failing to report a capital gain, by failing to report any partnership and "S Corporation" income, by reporting a substantially overstated itemized deduction, and by reporting substantially understated rents received; and that for the calendar year 1997, GRIFFITH willfully made and subscribed a false federal individual income tax return by failing to report a capital gain, by reporting he incurred a loss in his partnership and "S Corporation" income of $297,558, when he knew he had substantial income from his "S Corporation", by reporting a substantially overstated itemized deduction, and by reporting substantially understated rents received.


If convicted, GRIFFITH is facing up to three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed at the discretion of the Court.


According to Byram Tichenor, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation for Nevada and Utah, the IRS aggressively investigates allegations of tax fraud throughout northern Nevada. "Nobody likes paying taxes, but the vast majority of citizens recognize that their hard-earned dollars are used in such ways as ensuring our national defense and security. Taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society, and we work hard in Nevada to ensure that honest, taxpaying citizens are not footing the bill for someone else's tax liability."


The case is being investigated by Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation in Reno and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Sullivan.


The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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