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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 3, 2018

SCI Smithfield Inmate Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Jeremy Baney, age 47, an inmate at SCI Smithfield, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on May 2, 2018, before Senior United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo to aiding and assisting in making false statements to the IRS. 

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Baney admitted to being involved in a prison tax scheme from November 17, 2009 through February 25, 2012.  Baney obtained names and social security numbers of inmates to file false tax returns or would send that information to a former inmate who would then prepare and file the fraudulent 1040EZ tax returns with fictitious wages and holdings in order to get a tax refund. 

The government is alleging that Baney attempted to receive tax refunds totaling $236,407, to which he was not entitled to receive.

Judge Rambo ordered a presentence report to be completed by the end of June.  Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

“Tax refunds should only be issued to taxpayers who are entitled to them," said Guy Ficco, Special Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation. “IRS-CI is sworn to protect the tax system and bring to justice those who would steal from the Treasury.”

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe is prosecuting the case. 

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is three years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Updated May 3, 2018