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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Five Persons Sentenced On Tax Refund Fraud Charges

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that five persons who previously pleaded guilty in related cases to filing false claims for federal tax refunds were sentenced this week, in federal court in Scranton, by United States District Judge Robert Mariani.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the following persons were sentenced as indicated:

Russell F. Trauger, age 67, Factoryville, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to making a false claim against the government.  Trauger was sentenced by Judge Mariani on June 20, 2016 to serve 24 months in prison and to make restitution to the government in the amount of $233,686.55. 

Donald K. Murley, age 64, Cresco, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to making a false claim against the government.  Murley was sentenced by Judge Mariani on June 21, 2016 to serve 21 months in prison and to make restitution to the government in the amount of $243,462.62.

Harold C. Trauger, Jr., age 70, Factoryville, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to making a false claim against the government.  Murley was sentenced by Judge Mariani on June 21, 2016 to 2 years’ probation conditioned upon 6 months’ of home confinement and electronic monitoring.  Harold Trauger was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500.  

Bryan Cavage, age 36, Florida, pleaded guilty in August 2013 to making a false claim against the government.  Murley was sentenced by Judge Mariani on June 23, 2016 to serve 5 months in prison and to make restitution to the government in the amount of $37,152.38.

Laura Laporta, age 49, Cresco, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to making a false claim against the government.  Laporta was sentenced by Judge Mariani on June 23, 2016 to serve 4 months in prison and to make restitution to the government in the amount of $32,564.

The individuals sentenced this week were charged after an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation that revealed that the charged individuals were involved in a scheme to defraud the government through the filing of false Forms 1099-OID in support tax returns that fraudulently claimed refunds.  Similar abusive tax fraud schemes have been investigated and prosecuted nationwide. 

The cases were prosecuted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Samuelson and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Houser.

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Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated June 23, 2016