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Press Release

California Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A California man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to file false claims against the United States.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2016 to 2020, Richard Jason Mountford conspired with another individual to submit false individual income tax returns seeking refunds to which they were not entitled. Mountford and his co-conspirator filed income tax returns in their own names, as well as in the names of two other unwitting individuals, that falsely reported they were employed by a company, received wages from that company, and had federal taxes withheld from those wages, fraudulently claiming a refund was due. Most of the returns filed as part of the scheme also falsely reported alimony payments to increase the refund amount.

Based on these fraudulent returns, the IRS issued $873,723.53 in unwarranted refunds to the co-conspirators. Mountford deposited $757,075.53 of these fraud proceeds into his own bank accounts and subsequently purchased nearly $360,000 worth of new cars. He also distributed to his co-conspirator about $170,000 in cash and gold bars for his role in the scheme.

Mountford is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Troy L. Nunley for the Eastern District of Califonia on April 11, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. Judge Nunley will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys John C. Gerardi and Charles A. O’Reilly of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dhruv M. Sharma for the Eastern District of California are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 4, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-2