Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Corruptly Endeavoring to Impede the Internal Revenue Service
Tour Company Bus Driver Admits to Fraudulently Inflating Federal Fuel Tax Credits
WASHINGTON - Thomas Robert Turner, a resident of Prince George’s County, Md., pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12, 2011.
According to the plea agreement and statement of facts, Turner worked as a bus driver for D & B Tours Inc., a tour bus company. He, along with at least two other people, devised a plan to file false corporate income tax returns for 2001, 2002 and 2003 for D & B Tours with the IRS in order to get money from the government to which they were not entitled. These corporate returns claimed false refunds of more than $177,000 based upon fraudulently inflated federal fuel tax credits. Turner received $70,000 as his share of the fraudulent refunds.
According to the court documents, Turner also admitted that he was aware that false individual tax returns for 2002 through 2005 were filed in his name. Although he never saw the tax returns, he was aware that, just as he had been in the case with the false D & B Tours corporate tax returns, his personal tax returns would report false information relating to fuel expenses to support false claims for tax refunds. Turner received two refund checks from the IRS -- one for more than $20,000 and a second for more than $19,000. He retained a portion of these refund checks. Turner also admitted that in January 2009 he made false statements to a criminal investigator of the IRS who had questions about the tax refunds related to the false D & B Tours corporate tax returns.
John DiCicco, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, commended the investigative efforts of the IRS agents involved in this case, as well as Tax Division Trial Attorneys Caryn Finley and Jack Hinton, who are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at www.usdoj.gov/tax/ .