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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 15, 2016

IRS Employees Arrested for Fraudulent Tax Returns, Two Others Charged for Tax Evasion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — This week, prior to the annual tax return filing deadline, four individuals, including two current IRS employees, were charged in separate cases with federal tax crime, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today.

Longtime IRS Employees Arrested Today in Fresno

Two long-time IRS employees were arrested today at the IRS facility in Fresno as they came to work. On April 14, 2015, a 38-count indictment was brought against Della Ornelas, 48, and Randall Ruff, 52, both of Fresno, charging them with aiding others in the preparation of false tax returns, and making their own fraudulent tax returns as employee of the United States.  According to the indictment, Ornelas and Ruff are married to each other, and are longtime employees of the Internal Revenue Service in Fresno. They are charged with helping themselves, family and friends file false tax returns that claimed false dependents, generating large tax refunds that were diverted into bank accounts they controlled. They allegedly defrauded the United States of approximately $146,561 over a seven-year period.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McKeon is prosecuting the case. (case # 1:16-cr-054)

Fairfield Resident Indicted for Tax Evasion

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Bobby Louis Sanders, 52, of Fairfield, charging him with two counts of tax evasion. According to the indictment, Sanders failed to pay the tax due of $31,061 for tax years 2009 and 2010 and failed to file tax returns for tax years 2009 and 2010. The indictment alleges that Sanders willfully provided false information on W-4 forms claiming exemptions he was not entitled to claim.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney William S. Wong is prosecuting the case. (case # 2:16-cr-081)

Citrus Heights Man Indicted for Failure to File Tax Returns

On April 12, 2016, Donnie Francis Schroeder, 52, of Citrus Heights, was charged with four-counts of failure to file income taxes for tax years 2009 through 2012. According to court documents, between 2009 and 2012, Schroeder willfully did not file income taxes on income he earned as a 50 percent partner in a sweeping and cleaning business that operates in Sacramento and Reno, Nevada.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney André M. Espinosa is prosecuting the case. (case # 2:16-cr-080)

If convicted, Ornelas and Ruff face a maximum statutory sentence of three years in prison for each count of aiding and abetting false tax returns and five years in prison for making fraudulent tax return by an employee of the United States. If convicted, Sanders faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $100,000 fine on each count. If convicted, Schroeder faces a maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each count. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges against each of the foregoing defendants are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In addition to the above, so far in 2016, eight individuals have been indicted, five have been convicted and 14 were sentenced for either submitting false claims for refunds or evading taxes. For more information, see the press release also issued this week.

Updated April 15, 2016