Florida Man Sentenced to over 6 Years for Fraudulently Seeking $470,000 in Tax Refunds, Retaliating Against IRS Officials with Liens
LOS ANGELES – A Florida man who filed fraudulent tax returns that sought approximately $470,000 with the Internal Revenue Service – and then filed bogus false liens to retaliate against IRS employees who refused to pay his frivolous claims – has been sentenced to 77 months in federal prison.
Taquan Gullett, who also used the name “Maalik Rashe El,” 38, of Jacksonville, Florida, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Judge Christina Snyder.
Gullett was convicted in August of two counts of making false claims against the United States and two counts of retaliating against a federal employee by attempting to file a false lien or encumbrance.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Gullett filed a 2009 income tax return, in which he claimed that he earned $52,591 in wages as an exercise physiologist and falsely stated that he generated $221,306 in interest income, all of which had been withheld as federal income tax payments. Gullett therefore claimed that he was due a tax refund of $149,296, and requested that the refund be paid to his account at a Los Angeles-based credit union. Gullett also submitted to the IRS several fake Forms 1099, many of which were handwritten by Gullett, to support his fraudulent tax refund claim.
Once the IRS determined that Gullet’s 2009 tax return was frivolous and denied his claim for refund, Gullett retaliated by filing a “commercial lien” with the California Secretary of State. In the purported lien, Gullett falsely asserted that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the then-IRS Commissioner and other IRS employees owed him over $20 million for his “lawful 2009 claim refund.”
After the IRS denied the 2009 refund claim because his tax return was frivolous, Gullett attempted the same scheme again by filing a fraudulent 2010 tax return that sought a refund of $320,336. Ultimately, Gullett’s 2010 tax return was also deemed frivolous by the IRS, and a frivolous return penalty was assessed.
Gullett “has a long history of attempting to retaliate against or harass other government employees, law enforcement, and court personnel by filing false liens and frivolous lawsuits,” prosecutors wrote in sentencing papers filed with the court. Prosecutors noted that Gullett filed other liens with the California Secretary of State and the Recorder of Deeds in Washington D.C. that claimed the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the then-IRS Commissioner and other IRS employees owed him more than $20 million. He also filed a $37 million lien against Los Angeles Police officers and the clerk of the Los Angeles Superior Court after he was arrested several years ago.
“Finally, on July 20, 2016, just a few days before trial in this case was scheduled to begin, defendant filed a civil action in this district in which he named the Court, government counsel, and 25 others as defendants,” according to the government sentencing memo. “Defendant’s frivolous and incomprehensible complaint appeared to seek between 550 million and 600 billion dollars in damages and alleged, among other things, that the Court, government counsel, and others engaged in genocide, slavery, and treason.”
The case against Gullett was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julian L. André.