Former Resident of Nevada and Montana Pleads Guilty to Corruptly Interfering with the Tax Laws
Used Craigslist to Collect Personal Information and then File Fraudulent Refund Claims
A former resident of Montana and Nevada pleaded guilty today to one count of corruptly interfering with the administration of the internal revenue laws, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter for the District of Montana.
According to court documents, Steven D. Pjevach filed false and fraudulent income tax returns using personal identifying information, including individuals’ names and social security numbers obtained through posting false help-wanted advertisements on Craigslist. Pjevach also opened and caused to be opened, and used and caused to be used, bank accounts in other individuals’ names to receive the fraudulently obtained tax refunds. Pjevach provided false information to the individuals whose accounts he used regarding the reason he was using their accounts, and advised one individual to disregard correspondence from the bank regarding the account. Finally, Pjevach created false and fraudulent Forms W-2, which he attached to the fraudulent returns in an effort to deceive the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2017. Pjevach faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Cotter commended special agents of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney John T. Mulcahy of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad C. Spraker, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.