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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 2, 2016

Loomis Man Sentenced to 6.5 Years in Prison for Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Petr Kuzmenko, 38, of Loomis, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to six and a half years in prison and ordered to pay $573,332 in restitution to the IRS for conspiracy to defraud the United States, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Kuzmenko was engaged in a tax fraud scheme with four co-defendants, including his brother, who worked as a tax preparer at VK Tax Services in Citrus Heights in 2009. Between February 2009 and November 2009, Kuzmenko conspired with others to file approximately 90 fraudulent tax returns with the IRS. The tax returns fraudulently claimed the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, which was worth as much as $7,500. The refunds for the fraudulent claims were electronically deposited into various bank accounts controlled by Kuzmenko and his co-defendants. The fraudulent claims totaled approximately $695,724, of which the IRS paid approximately $573,000.

“We want everyone who files a tax return to take advantage of the deductions and credits to which they are entitled by law,” said Michael T. Batdorf, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “However, no one is entitled to defraud the government. Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to those who not only intentionally undermine our tax system, but help others so as well: You will not go undetected, and you will be held accountable.”

Kuzmenko was previously convicted in two mortgage fraud cases in this district and sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison for both cases. The sentence imposed in this case was ordered to run concurrent to those sentences.

This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michele Beckwith is prosecuting the case.

Co-defendant Aleksandr Kuzmenko was sentenced to over two years in prison on October 28, 2016. Valeriy Nikitchuk pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 16, 2016. Co-defendant Arsen Muhtarov has entered a plea of not guilty. The charges against him are only allegations, and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Press Release Number: 
2:14-cr-044 GEB
Updated December 2, 2016