Utah Man Sentenced to Prison for Filing $1.5 Million in False Claims for Tax Refunds and Presenting Fictitious Financial Instruments to the U.S. Government
A Sandy, Utah, resident was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, to serve two years in prison for tax evasion, filing false claims for federal income tax refunds, and filing fictitious financial obligations with the U.S. government, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
Paul Ben Zaccardi was also ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to serve a four-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison.
“Pursuing and prosecuting individuals who refuse to comply with our nation’s tax laws and take affirmative steps to evade their obligations remains a top priority of the Tax Division,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo. “Today’s sentence reflects what awaits those who engage in such criminal conduct.”
“Today’s sentencing of Paul Zaccardi again emphasizes the Internal Revenue Service and DOJ Tax Division’s aggressive pursuit of those who use fraudulent methods in an attempt to corrupt our nation’s tax system,” said Special Agent in Charge John Collins of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Las Vegas Field Office. “Honest taxpayers have been reassured today that no one is above the law–especially when the integrity of the tax administration is at stake.”
On Oct. 29, 2014, Zaccardi pleaded guilty to the offenses charged in the superseding indictment, including one count of tax evasion, five counts of filing false claims for income tax refunds and three counts of filing fictitious obligations. According to the superseding indictment and court documents, in April 2004, Zaccardi embarked on a scheme to evade the payment of his federal income taxes. As part of that scheme and to avoid federal tax levies, Zaccardi transferred title to his residence to a nominee entity that he formed called Saved by Grace Christian Fellowship and caused his business receipts to be deposited into his wife’s bank account.
Zaccardi also presented five separate false tax returns to the IRS falsely claiming tax refunds totaling more than $1.5 million. In addition, from June 2008 to October 2011, Zaccardi presented three separate fictitious financial instruments to the IRS, U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. District Court of the District of Utah for a combined total of $605 million, to purportedly pay his federal income tax liabilities.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended the special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Stuart Wexler and Ryan Raybould of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case. She also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Utah for their substantial assistance.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s national Tax Defier Initiative and its enforcements efforts in this area may be found on the division’s website.
Additional information about tax fraud schemes to watch out for may be found on the IRS Criminal Investigation Web site at http://www.ustreas.gov/irs/ci/.