Man Pleads Not Guilty to Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns
Reno, Nev. – A man charged with filing 10 fraudulent federal income tax returns in the names of others and receiving over $100,000 in refunds from the IRS, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been temporarily detained pending trial, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Edward David Simon, 52, of Reno, is charged in a criminal indictment with 10 counts of false claim fraud, 10 counts of unlawful use of a means of identification, 10 counts of mail fraud, and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft. Simon was arrested in Reno on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, and was arraigned yesterday by U.S. Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb. The indictment was returned on Oct. 24, 2012, and unsealed yesterday at the arraignment and plea hearing. A detention hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today.
According to the indictment, between Feb. 10 and May 3, 2010, Simon allegedly filed nine false and fraudulent tax returns using the names and social security numbers of others. On each return, Simon claimed refunds of about $5,200. As part of the scheme, Simon allegedly submitted forged W-2 forms showing earned income for the individuals and then had another person file the tax forms by mailing them to the appropriate IRS processing center. As a result of the filing of these fraudulent tax returns, Simon allegedly received over $100,000.
If convicted, Simon faces up to five years in prison on each false claim count, up to 15 years in prison on each unlawful use of identification count, up to 20 years in prison on each mail fraud count, and at least two years in prison on each aggravated identity theft count, as well as fines of up to $10 million.
The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Rachow.
Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.