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Press Release

Northwest Arkansas Man Found Guilty of Federal Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Springdale, Arkansas, man was convicted by a jury today in the U.S. District Court located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, of tax crimes, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge of the Western District of Arkansas.

Doyle Smith, 56, was found guilty following a three-day trial before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks of four counts of subscribing and filing a false tax return, one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws and one count of presenting a fictitious financial obligation.

According to evidence introduced at trial, in 2008 and 2009, Smith submitted four false individual federal tax returns for tax years 2005 through 2008, which falsely reported a total of more than $1.4 million in fictitious federal tax withholdings.  Based on these fictitious withholding amounts, Smith claimed a total of $1,021,457 in income tax refunds to which he was not entitled to receive for those tax years.  Smith also submitted false claims and correspondence to both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and third-parties in an attempt to cause the IRS and U.S. Treasury to pay his debts to third parties and to obstruct the IRS’ tax administration efforts.  For example, in January 2010, Smith mailed to the Department of Arkansas Finance and Administration a fictitious financial instrument titled “U.S. Treasury Trust Account Money Order.”  This fictitious document purportedly obligated U.S. Treasury funds in the amount of $129,439 to pay for outstanding sales taxes that Smith owed to the state of Arkansas.

“Today’s jury verdict makes it clear that individuals who steal from the government through the filing of false and fraudulent claims for refunds and fictitious financial instruments will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo.  “The Department of Justice’s Tax Division is committed to working with its federal and state law enforcement partners to identify those who seek to manipulate and abuse our federal tax system, and to hold such individuals accountable.”

“This case involves a scheme in which the defendant attempted to steal taxpayer money from the U.S. Treasury for his own personal gain,” said U.S. Attorney Eldridge.  “This type of fraud is a serious crime, and an insult to hard-working, law abiding citizens and taxpayers.  Today’s conviction sends a strong message that our office and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue fraud wherever we find it.”

“At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take extremely seriously,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher A. Henry of the IRS-Criminal Investigation.  “An integral part of the agency’s mission involves detecting and catching fraudulent tax refund claims.  The object of these schemes is to defraud the government and the taxpaying public.  Today’s conviction should serve as a warning to those that would attempt to enrich themselves by fraudulent means.” 

“It is the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) mission to protect the integrity of the Internal Revenue Service and promote the fair administration of our federal tax system,” said Special Agent in Charge Ruben Florez of TIGTA’s Dallas Field Division.  “TIGTA and its law-enforcement partners will vigorously investigate individuals that attempt to corruptly interfere with the administration of the internal revenue laws through fraudulent means, and will do everything within its power to ensure that those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

In this case, the statutory maximum sentences are three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of filing a false tax return; three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the count of impeding the internal revenue laws; and 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the count of presenting a fictitious financial obligation.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Eldridge commended the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the TIGTA who investigated the case, as well as Trial Attorneys Robert Kemins and David Zisserson of the Tax Division who are prosecuting the case.

Updated May 18, 2016

Press Release Number: 15-170