WOMAN SENTENCED FOR FILING FRAUDULENT TAX RETURNS
Defendant Was Unsuccessful Mayoral Candidate in Addison, Texas
DALLAS — Tamara Whitman, aka “Tamara Busch,” was sentenced this morning by Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to serve one year and one day in federal prison and pay approximately $188,300 in restitution, following her guilty plea in January 2011 to one count of filing false, fictitious or fraudulent claims, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Judge Fitzwater ordered that Whitman surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on June 7, 2011.
A federal grand jury in Dallas returned a seven-count indictment in March 2010 charging Whitman and her former husband, Phillip Francis Busch, with one count of conspiracy to file false claims and six counts of filing false, fictitious or fraudulent claims. Charges remain pending against Phillip Busch.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint filed in the case, in mid-2009, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) became aware that Busch and Whitman were submitting questionable income tax returns to the IRS for large refunds. However, IRS and Texas Employment Commission records indicated that Busch had not had a wage-earning job in more than five years, although he considered himself a body builder and motivational speaker. It further states that Internet searches show Busch had previously competed in Mr. Natural Olympia body building competitions, finishing in eighth place in 2004. The affidavit further states that Whitman worked at SAS Institute until 2008, when she left and ran for mayor of Addison, Texas, and lost. The affidavit notes that neither Busch nor Whitman appeared to be gainfully employed since Whitman stopped working at SAS Institute in 2008.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, beginning in February 2009, Whitman and Busch intentionally filed multiple tax returns with the IRS that contained false information that resulted in claims upon and against the U.S. Treasury. Whitman admits that:
∙ on February 11, 2009, she and Busch filed a joint tax return, containing materially false information, that resulted in them receiving a $61,232 tax refund.
∙ on April 28, 2009, she and Busch filed a tax return on behalf of their five-year-old daughter, claiming that their daughter earned $375,000 in 2008. Busch provided the tax preparer with false documents reflecting $105,000 in fictitious withholdings and a fictitious $200,000 charitable contribution to “Kids Against Cancer.” As a result, they received a $56,664 tax refund.
∙ on May 7, 2009, she and Busch filed a joint amended tax return containing materially false information, and as a result, they claimed a $63,992 tax refund.
∙ on July 2, 2009, Busch electronically filed a tax return on behalf of Busch’s minor child, claiming his son earned $375,000 in 2008. Busch provided the tax preparer with false documents reflecting fictitious withholdings of $131,250, and $240,000 in fictitious charitable contributions to “Kids Against Cancer.” As a result, the U.S. Treasury paid an $83,684 refund.
The case was investigated by IRS - CI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert
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