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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Two Men Plead Guilty To Tax Fraud Conspiracy Involving More Than 300 Stolen Identities

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the guilty pleas of RICHARD J. SCHMIDT, 42, and MATTHEW KLEMMER, 47, for conspiring to prepare and file false individual income tax returns in order to obtain fraudulent income tax refunds. Both defendants were indicted on October 15, 2014. SCHMIDT pleaded guilty on December 17, 2014 before Senior Judge David S. Doty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn. On March 9, 2015, KLEMMER also entered his guilty plea before Judge Doty.

“Filing false tax returns and using stolen identities is a serious crime that hurts innocent taxpayers,” stated Special Agent in Charge Shea Jones of the IRS Criminal Investigation St. Paul Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to vigorously pursue those who unjustly enrich themselves by preparing false claims for refunds.”

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed in court, from approximately January 2011 to April 2011, SCHMIDT and KLEMMER received refunds from income tax returns reporting false or inflated income, false employment, and other false items. Stolen personal identifying information, including names and social security numbers, was used to create the fraudulent tax returns, which included false or inflated withholding information. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants requested the tax refunds be deposited onto debit cards, allowing them immediate access to the cash. The defendants filed more than 30 fraudulent tax returns and received more than $100,000 in refunds.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lewis.

Defendant Information:

Landfall, MN

• Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, 1 count

St. Paul, Minn.

• Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, 1 count



Updated April 30, 2015