Portland Man Indicted for Tax Fraud
Allegedly Sought $300,000 in Fraudulent Refunds
Portland, Ore. - Ricky Lee Greenwood, 31, of Portland, Oregon, has been indicted on nine counts of wire fraud, nine counts of filing false claims for tax refunds, and eight counts of aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced. Greenwood made his initial appearance in court today before U.S. Magistrate Janice Stewart, and entered a plea of not guilty. The defendant was released on pre-trial conditions and ordered to appear for trial on April 2, 2013.
According to the 26-count indictment, Greenwood electronically filed at least 66 false tax returns with fictitious wage and false dependent information, requesting at least $300,000 in fraudulent refunds. Greenwood is alleged to have obtained the names and Social Security numbers of unemployed individuals in order to file fraudulent tax returns in their names. According to the indictment, Greenwood also obtained the social security numbers of children and claimed them on the tax returns of unrelated individuals to maximize refundable credits - such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit - and further inflate the fraudulent refunds. In addition, according to the indictment, Greenwood had the fraudulent refunds delivered to him or deposited into accounts that he controlled.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Greenwood faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each false claims count, up to 20 years imprisonment for each wire fraud count, and a mandatory two-year sentence on the aggravated identity theft counts. If convicted, he could be subject to fines, mandatory restitution, and a money judgment.
"Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a top priority for IRS Criminal Investigation," said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Be assured that we are serious about investigating these crimes and we will vigorously pursue the criminals who steal from the American taxpayer."
This case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Task Force. Trial Attorneys Leslie A. Goemaat and Todd P. Kostyshak of the Justice Department's Tax Division and Assistant U. S. Attorney Claire Fay are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.