ATHENS, Ga. – A Georgia man was sentenced today to 230 months in prison for charges related to his filing of dozens of fraudulent tax returns on behalf of multiple sham trusts.
Marquet Mattox, of Lilburn, was convicted by a federal jury on Aug. 18, 2021, of wire fraud, false claims and theft of government funds. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from 2016 to 2018 Mattox filed more than 30 fraudulent federal income tax returns with the IRS in the names of approximately 12 different trusts. On those returns, Mattox falsely reported that the trusts had withheld large amounts of taxes on purported interest income, thereby entitling the trusts to refunds. In total, Mattox claimed approximately $165 million in refunds on behalf of the purported trusts. The IRS paid $5 million of the requested refunds. Mattox used those funds to purchase a new house, a luxury automobile and other personal expenses.
“It’s an injustice to all those who rightfully pay their taxes when an individual criminally takes advantage of the system, in this case defrauding taxpayers of millions of dollars,” U.S Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our office and our law enforcement partners will do whatever it takes to hold fraudsters accountable for their crimes.”
“Marquet Mattox secured $5 million in fraudulent refunds by inundating the IRS with dozens of false returns on behalf of phony trusts he owned and controlled,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg. “His significant prison sentence today makes clear that fraudsters will be identified and prosecuted, no matter how persistent or complicated their schemes.”
“Mattox made multiple attempts to defraud the Internal Revenue Service of over $117 million,” stated IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey. “IRS has systems in place to detect and prevent fraud; attempting to file false claims for refunds is a federal crime. Today’s sentencing reflects the seriousness of Mattox’s actions and greed. Taxpayers should be wary of any individuals promoting and using schemes to submit false filings to the IRS. Should you come across such a scheme, please report it to IRS Criminal Investigation.”
“TIGTA’s statutory mission includes investigating individuals who interfere with the lawful collection of taxes,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Attempts to interfere with IRS employees engaged in the performance of their official duties will be aggressively pursued. We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and IRS-Criminal Investigation in working with TIGTA to protect the integrity of federal tax administration.”
In addition to the prison term, Mattox was ordered to pay approximately $3.2 million in restitution and serve three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal. There is no parole in the federal system.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of the Inspector General investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyndie Freeman for the Middle District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Jessica Kraft of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.