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buffalo man pleads guilty to wire fraud in fraudulent tax case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2013

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Dewayne  Vass, 30, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, to wire fraud affecting a financial institution. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was part of a scheme to defraud the government by obtaining money from the  filing of false tax returns. Vass received the proceeds from one of the fraudulent tax returns which was filed with the Internal Revenue Service and for which the refund was placed on a prepaid debit card. The defendant used that card to obtain cash from an ATM totaling $6,248. As a result of the scheme, losses to the Internal Revenue Service totaled $72,589.00.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

            The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of  Special Agent- in-Charge Toni M. Weirauch,  and the United States Postal Inspection Service under the direction of Kevin Niland, Inspector in Charge, Boston Division.

            Sentencing is scheduled for August 26, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.


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