Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to $7.2 Million Biodiesel Tax Credit Fraud Scheme
A Colorado resident pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Matthew Taylor and co-conspirators worked together to defraud the United States by filing false claims for tax credits under a federal program that encourages production and use of renewable fuels. According to court documents, in 2009, Taylor and others created a fake company, Shintan Inc. (Shintan), that purported to be in the business of creating renewable fuels. From 2010 to 2013, Taylor and co-conspirators filed claims with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for over $7.2 million in tax credits for renewable fuel produced. In fact, Shintan produced no qualifying renewable fuel, and the documents filed with the IRS were fraudulent. Taylor personally netted at least $4.5 million from the scheme, with the additional $2.7 million going to co-conspirators. To avoid detection, Taylor and co-conspirators transferred the fraudulently obtained funds through bank accounts belonging to Shintan and other shell companies.
At sentencing, Taylor faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy to defraud the government count, 10 years in prison on the money laundering conspiracy count and the money laundering count. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6, 2019. In addition to a prison sentence, Taylor faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Leslie A. Goemaat, Arthur J. Ewenczyk, Sarah A. Kiewlicz, and Stephen K. Moulton, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.