Several Colorado Residents Are Prosecuted For Over $2 Million In Tax Fraud
DENVER – U.S. Attorney John Walsh and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Stephen Boyd announce the prosecution of several criminal tax offenders this week in the District of Colorado. With tax filing season in full swing, federal officials remind citizens that it is important to file complete and accurate tax returns. Those who commit tax fraud and related crimes will be criminally prosecuted. Recent tax cases prosecuted in the District of Colorado include the following:
Byron Thomas Warnes, age 60, of Silverthorne, CO, pled guilty on February 13, 2014 to one count of obstructing and impeding the administration of the internal revenue laws. He was charged by an Information on September 25, 2013. Beginning in 2005, and continuing into August 2008, he undertook a series of acts, and structured his financial and business affairs in a way, which made it difficult for the IRS to be able to determine what assets he had available for collection of the back taxes and to be able to determine his taxable income and income tax liabilities for 2005 and subsequent years. Particularly he owed the IRS $140,144 in back taxes which he failed to pay from his 1992 tax return. Over the course of 2005 through 2007, he made at least $233,308 in real estate commissions as well as other income, but failed to report the majority of his income. As part of this pattern of obstructive conduct, Warnes also filed a false income tax return under reporting his real estate commission income by approximately $98,000. The government calculates the tax owed by Warnes for tax years 1992, 2005, 2005 and 2007 to be a total of $335,211. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ken Harmon.
Elizabeth A. Eurioste, age 64, of Aurora, CO, pled guilty on February 14, 2014 to one count of aiding or assisting in the preparation of a false individual federal income tax return. She was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on April 9, 2013. Eurioste has been preparing individual and business income tax returns since 1971. For purposes of her plea agreement, the period of relevant conduct covered is tax years 2004 through 2007, and she worked out of her own business, Eurioste Accounting, Inc. She entered false deductions, expenses, business losses, and underreported income and gains on her clients’ tax returns to reduce the amount of tax due and owing. Eurioste repeatedly created the same types of false entries on returns and for the years covered by the indictment, she had approximately 1200 clients. The total amount of tax loss resulting from Eurioste’s actions for tax years 2004 through 2007 is at least $400,000. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anna Edgar and Suneeta Hazra.
Mathew Zuckerman, age 69, of Woody Creek, CO, pled guilty on February 18, 2014 to one count of tax evasion. He was Indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on April 25, 2012. From 1986 through 2009, Zuckerman either failed to file an income tax return, or filed a return using incorrect amounts. In 1998, Zuckerman and a business partner formed Silicon Valley New Issues, Inc. and began to specialize in taking small companies public through reverse mergers of existing corporate shells. Zuckerman evaded corporate income taxes on several million dollars of taxable income in 1999 from Silicon Valley New Issues, Inc. and concealed his profits by not filing Form 1120 corporate tax returns, filing false Form 1120-S tax returns, filing false Form 1040 individual tax returns, and by acquiring assets such as personal residences and stock investments in corporate/trust nominee names. Over the course of the next 10 years, Zuckerman, continued to conceal his assets and business affairs from the IRS by utilizing additional corporations and trusts. For his efforts to avoid payment and collection of outstanding tax liabilities, he agrees to make restitution to the IRS in the amount of $693,706. Zuckerman is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31, 2014. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Neff.
Randall Vannoy Heath, age 52, of Colorado Springs, CO, was sentenced on February 18, 2014 to serve 84 months in federal prison for a false claim against the IRS and aggravated identity theft followed by 3 years on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $172,756 in restitution to the IRS. In August 2010, Heath stole records consisting of personal information of clients from College Consultant Group, Inc. after the business had ceased operations. Heath used the records to engage in a variety of identity theft-related activities, to include production of counterfeit driver’s licenses and counterfeit government photo identifications. With this information Heath filed false 2010 Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, in the victims’ names. As part of the scheme, he also created false Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statements. Heath received fraudulent refunds ranging from $7,000 to $23,000 for each of the false claims filed with the IRS, totaling over $275,000 of which resulted in the IRS issuing $172,756 in fraudulent tax refunds to Heath. The United States Postal Inspection Service assisted in the investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard Hosley.
“All of us have a responsibility to follow the law, which includes filing tax returns when required and paying any taxes due,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Willfully failing to comply with the law can result in criminal consequences, as these cases show.”
“Every one of these cases falls on the IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scam list which was released last week,” said Stephen Boyd, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. “Honest taxpayers should be aware of these scams to help protect themselves. Individuals who perpetrate such scams, beware it is a simple matter of time, we will find you and bring you to justice.”