Vermillion woman charged with obstructing enforcement of tax laws
Terry E. Branco was charged today in a one-count information with corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of tax laws.
The charge, filed in Cleveland, Ohio, was announced by Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division Kathryn Keneally, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach, and Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) -Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Darryl K. Williams.
According to court records, Branco is 65 years old and resides in Vermillion, Ohio.
The information that was filed alleges, among other things, that for the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax years, Branco filed frivolous and false U.S. individual tax returns in which she stated her total adjusted gross income for each year was zero dollars ($0). The information also alleges Branco’s total adjusted gross income was $109,403, $87,440, $93,277 and $113,845 for the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax years, respectively, and that, in 2006, she also signed a form on which she falsely claimed she was not a resident of the United States. The information further alleges that, in 2008, following an IRS audit and assessment of taxes owed, Branco sent a purported “commercial affidavit” to the IRS claiming that the IRS was not an agency of the United States, was “perpetuating a fraud” and was “not licensed to do business.” She also allegedly stated that failure to rebut the affidavit would result in the “filing of a commercial lien, involuntary bankruptcy and/or tort claim.”
Criminal indictments are only allegations and not proof of guilt. Under our legal system, a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum potential sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.The case is being handled by Tax Division Trial Attorney Andrew P. Young, following investigation by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Akron, Ohio, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Cleveland, Ohio.