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Press Release

Third Nevada Family Member Sentenced to Prison

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Conspiracy Obtained more than $2 Million in Fraudulent Tax Refunds

A third participant in a Las Vegas, Nevada, conspiracy to obtain millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds was sentenced to prison today, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.

U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan sentenced Elizabeth Trinh to 18 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to defraud the government.

According to documents filed with the court, Chanh V. Trinh, Cannedy Trinh, and Elizabeth Trinh, conspired to file corporate and individual tax returns reporting false income tax withholdings and payments, in order to cause the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to issue fraudulent income tax refunds. The Trinhs filed the returns in the names of fictitious business entities, their own names, and the names of other individuals, including a long-deceased family member. Chanh V. Trinh prepared and filed the returns. All three defendants deposited or cashed the fraudulently obtained refund checks using bank accounts and check-cashing businesses in Las Vegas. To conceal the funds, the defendants regularly purchased cashier’s checks, which they used to obtain gambling chips at local casinos. The conspiracy resulted in false claims of more than $6 million, and more than $2 million in fraudulent refunds paid out by the IRS.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Mahan ordered Elizabeth Trinh to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution of $362,328 to the IRS.

On April 10, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Mahan sentenced Chanh V. Trinh to 102 months in prison and Cannedy Trinh to 24 months in prison.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Trutanich commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Thomas W. Flynn and Eric C. Schmale of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Updated May 15, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 19-527