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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Denton County Man And Woman Sentenced For Federal Income Tax Violations

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

 SHERMAN, Texas -  A Denton County, Texas man and woman have been sentenced to federal prison for income tax violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.   

Michael Jerome Edwards, 40, and Cheri Joann Edwards, 38, both of Lewisville, Texas, pleaded guilty on Oct. 28, 2013 to conspiracy to defraud the government.  Cheri Edwards was sentenced to eight months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $67,574.83 today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

Michael Edwards was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $419,739.00 on Apr. 22, 2014 by Judge Heartfield.

According to information presented in court, beginning in November 2008, Michael and Cheri Edwards devised a scheme to defraud the government by submitting fraudulent federal income tax returns claiming $3,860,722.00 in refunds for tax years 2006 through 2008, which far exceeded that to which they were entitled.  To facilitate the scheme, the defendant’s submitted Form 1099-Original Issue Discount (OID) to falsely identify federal income tax withholdings.  As a result of this fraudulent activity, Michael Edwards received a federal tax refund in February 2009 in the amount of $324,536.84 for the 2007 tax year.  In April 2009, Cheri Edwards received a federal tax refund in the amount of $77,451.00 for tax year 2008.  The defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 12, 2012.

                This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Eason.

Updated March 12, 2015