Amherst man sentenced for filing fraudulent tax returns
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Marc Walker, 53, of Amherst, N.Y., who was convicted of filing a false claim against the United States, was sentenced to two years probation by Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $23,694.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski, who handled the case, stated that the defendant, who is employed by American Airlines, filed federal tax returns for the tax years 2007 through 2011, in which he fraudulently overstated the amount of tax payments withheld from his wages. As a result, Walker claimed that he was entitled to tax refunds totaling $46,278 for those years, $23,694 of which was received by the defendant.
Walker’s criminal conduct was uncovered during the course of a civil audit of a business venture the defendant operated which was unrelated to his employment with American Airlines. The auditor observed that Walker’s tax returns claimed American Airlines had withheld several thousand dollars each year for federal taxes while IRS records showed only minimal amounts of withhold because Walker had claimed 99 exemptions on his W-4 form. When the auditor asked the defendant to verify the withholding amounts, Walker submitted fake W-2 statements to the civil auditor that claimed that American Airlines had withheld a significant portion of his earnings. Once the civil auditor reviewed the true W-2 forms submitted by American Airlines, which stated that only minimal amounts had been withheld from Walker’s pay for taxes, the case was referred to the IRS criminal division.The sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office.