Huntsville Man Sentenced to Nearly Four Years in Prison for $600,000 Tax Fraud Scheme
HUNTSVILLE – A federal judge today sentenced a Huntsville man to nearly four years in prison for his scheme to have more than $600,000 in fraudulent federal and Washington, D.C., tax refund checks deposited into his bank accounts.
U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced MARTIN TYRONNE WOODS, 36, to three years and 10 months in prison on one count of theft of government property. Woods pleaded guilty in October. He already is in custody.
Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey, IRS Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton, District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt, and D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue Criminal Investigation Division Chief Gilbert R. Garza announced the sentence.
“Tax fraud and attempted tax fraud are an increasingly serious problem and criminals are becoming more skillful at committing this type of crime,” Posey said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is fortunate to work with law enforcement partners who are adept at identifying and investigating such fraud, and we will continue to prosecute criminals who steal from the government and the taxpayers.”
“Every taxpayer is affected by refund fraud when tax dollars are stolen from the government,” Hyman-Pillot said. “Martin Woods learned the hard way that participating in refund schemes and stealing taxpayer funds will result in punishment.”
“I want to express my appreciation to my agents and to our IRS-Criminal Investigation partners for their hard work in bringing Mr. Woods to justice,” Stanton said. “The FBI will continue to work with our partners to hold accountable those who defraud the government.”
Garza expressed his gratitude to IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama for their partnership in the investigation.
DeWitt said, “The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue will vigorously pursue justice against individuals who commit stolen identity theft and tax fraud. As chief of the Criminal Investigation Division for Washington, D.C., we are committed to tracking down these criminals who steal money from the government and thus harm the honest taxpayers and the communities we serve.”
From September 2012 through April 2013 in Madison County, Woods and others, not named in the court documents, submitted the fraudulent federal and District of Columbia tax refund checks for deposit into Woods’ bank accounts. Many of the refunds were in the names of deceased individuals, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum.
The IRS and FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell E. Penfield prosecuted.