News and Press Releases

Man Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Assisting Individuals To File False Tax Returns

January 16, 2008

Las Vegas, Nev. – A man who created and executed a scheme to create and file false income tax returns on behalf of himself and other individuals, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison today following his prior guilty plea to False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Claims and Aiding and Abetting, announced Gregory A. Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Keith Carthon, 37, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan. Carthon and a co-defendant, Ramona Brock, were indicted in March 2007 and charged with assisting numerous individuals in the filing of false income tax claims by providing the individuals fictitious W-2 forms falsely reflecting that the individuals had worked for employers and earned income, when in fact the individuals had not worked for such employers or earned the income reported. At Carthon's direction, the individuals submitted the false W-2s and tax returns to the IRS in order to receive tax refunds to which they were not entitled.

"Let this be a warning to anyone thinking about defrauding the federal tax system – substantial civil and criminal sanctions may be imposed on those who participate in tax fraud schemes," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "We will continue to prosecute individuals who initiate and participate in them."

On October 18, 2007, Carthon pled guilty to a Superseding Criminal Information charging two counts of False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Claims and Aiding and Abetting. According to the plea agreement, in 2003 and 2004, Carthon and Brock solicited and recruited an individual in Las Vegas to file false, fictitious, and fraudulent tax returns. Carthon and Brock obtained blank W-2 forms and completed them with false information indicating that this individual had been employed and earned income during the tax years 2002 and 2003 by "Great Eats" and "Great Western Drywall," respectively. Carthon admitted that he knew that the individual had no earnings or withholdings as reflected on the W-2s. Carthon also admitted that he directed the individual how to file her tax returns, and further directed the individual to pay a portion of any tax refund received to Carthon and Brock in exchange for their assistance in the scheme. The individual submitted the tax returns along with the false W-2s to the IRS. At sentencing, Carthon admitted assisting other individuals in filing a total of 11 false tax returns by providing those individuals with false W-2s, resulting in a total intended loss to the IRS of $36, 905.

Carthon has an extensive criminal history, including past convictions for crimes of violence, grand larceny, fraud, forgery, and malicious destruction of property, and has a history of using aliases and false social security numbers. He has been in custody since being charged with the federal offense in March 2007.

Ramona Brock is scheduled to begin trial before Judge James C. Mahan on February 25, 2008. The Indictment returned against Ms. Brock contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. She is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christina M. Brown.

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