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Press Release

Birmingham Man Indicted For Multi-Million Dollar Tax Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Birmingham man in connection with a scheme to collect millions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service on false tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot.

The indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges DOUGLAS ERVIN DENT, 66, with filing 20 false income tax returns in his own name and on behalf of others between April 2008 and October 2009. Dent knew that he and the other taxpayers were not entitled to the $6.2 million in refunds he claimed, according to the indictment. Each false tax return contained a claim that money had been earned by the taxpayer and withheld by various financial institutions on behalf of the taxpayer during the tax year and that the taxpayer was entitled to refund of those withholdings from the IRS when, in truth, no such earnings and withholdings had occurred, the indictment states.

Among the 20 false returns, Dent filed four in his name and one in the name of his deceased mother. The requested refunds on these five returns totaled more than $2.6 million, according to the indictment.

“The false and outrageous tax refunds cited in this case are both a crime and an affront to the millions of hard-working Americans who pay their justly owed taxes each year,” Vance said. “Criminals who scheme to avoid paying taxes or to steal money from the U.S. Treasury will be prosecuted,” she said.

"Return preparers who concoct schemes to steal public money face federal prosecution and time in prison,” Hyman-Pillot said. “Individuals cannot fraudulently enrich their bank accounts at the expense of the United States Treasury and other taxpayers."

If convicted, Dent could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the 20 counts of making false claims against the government.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent and it will be the government’s responsibility to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Updated March 19, 2015