Former Tax Preparer Sentenced in $20 Million Tax Fraud Scheme
RICHMOND, Va. – Sean M. Weaver, 34 years old, of Alexandria, was sentenced today to 71 months in prison for mail fraud and money laundering. Weaver was also ordered to pay $20,427,688.03 in restitution to victims of the offense.
Weaver pleaded guilty on Aug. 19, 2015. According to court documents, Weaver was a member of the transaction tax practice group in the Arlington office of Ryan LLC, a tax services firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The transaction tax practice group specialized in submitting claims to state and local taxing authorities to obtain refunds of sales and/or use tax overpayments made by Ryan LLC’s corporate clients. Weaver managed a team of 10 to 15 employees and was responsible for submitting claims to the state taxing authorities on behalf of Ryan LLC’s clients. Between October 2011 and December 2014, Weaver submitted and caused to be submitted several false claims for sales and/or use tax refunds to the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts on behalf of two of Ryan LLC’s clients. In submitting the false claims, Weaver manipulated client transactional data and falsified invoices and other transactional records to inflate the amount of sales and/or use tax actually paid by the clients during certain transactions. As a result of the scheme, the state taxing authorities issued over $20 million in fraudulent refunds to Ryan LLC clients and Weaver received over $350,000 in personal bonus payments generated by the scheme. As part of the plea agreement, Weaver agreed to forfeit $250,480.09 seized by the United States as property involved in the offense and the value of his account with a peer-to-peer lending company.
Ryan LLC voluntarily reported Weaver’s actions to law enforcement and fully cooperated in the investigation.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division; Thomas M. Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Washington D.C. Field Office; and David Bowers, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dominick S. Gerace and Michael S. Dry prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:15-cr-139.