Skip to main content
Press Release

Nogales Resident Sentenced to 78 Months for Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

     TUCSON, Ariz. – On July 8, 2015, Scott William Acorn, 43, of Nogales, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to a total of 78 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $415,000 in restitution.  Acorn pleaded guilty on March 31, 2015, to conspiracy, filing false claim for refund, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

     Acorn and another individual together acquired the personal identification information (name, birthdate, and social security number) of approximately 1,117 individuals. Using this information, Acorn and his co-defendant electronically filed false tax returns for these individuals seeking refunds of approximately $1,000 on each return. The individuals whose information was used were unaware of the returns being filed in their name.  For tax years 2010 and 2011, the conspirators sought over a million dollars in fraudulent refunds which resulted in a payout of $414,000 by the United States Treasury.

     Acorn’s sentence was enhanced by his admission that he fled to Mexico while on pre-trial release in 2012 and continued to file false tax returns in much the same manner as before.  In September of 2014, he was discovered and returned to the United States to face prosecution.

     The investigation in this case was conducted by Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Tucson. The prosecution was handled by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, Tucson.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-12-1293-CKJ-JR     

RELEASE NUMBER:   2015-051_Acorn


# # #

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit

Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, on Twitter @USAO_AZ for the latest news.

Updated July 10, 2015

Press Release Number: CR-12-1293-CKJ-JR