Kansas Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Stealing More than $2 Million in Government Funds
A Stillwell, Kansas, man pleaded guilty today to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of theft of government funds, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall of the District of Kansas.
Richard Drake, 60, admitted that he obtained more than $2 million from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by filing false tax returns in the names of his clients. Those false returns claimed refunds that Drake directed into accounts he controlled. In his plea agreement, Drake admitted that he used the identities of his clients to perpetrate his fraud without their knowledge. The tax returns that Drake filed caused the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue large income tax refunds that Drake then converted to his own use.
As part of his plea agreement, Drake has agreed to serve 48 months in prison and to pay $2,432,147 in restitution to the IRS. The sentencing hearing date has not yet been determined.
Acting Assistant Attorney General and Acting U.S. Attorney Beall commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorney Ryan Raybould of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt of the District of Kansas, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.