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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Former Oakland Accountant Pleads Guilty To Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme

OAKLAND – Robert Thomas Doyle pleaded guilty in federal court on February 13, 2015, to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.

According to the plea agreement, during 2011, 2012, and 2013 Doyle, 64, of Oakland, implemented an identity theft and tax fraud scheme in which he caused the filing of a number of tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.  As part of his scheme, Doyle, created false businesses and claimed false income and expenses for his clients in order to maximize the Earned Income Tax Credit to obtain a larger refund. Doyle did not ask his clients about any income earned or current or past employment history. Doyle also used the names and Social Security numbers of former clients to prepare and file false tax returns without these victims' knowledge or consent. On many of the tax returns, Doyle directed the refunds to be mailed to addresses where he could retrieve them or have the refunds direct deposited into bank accounts that he controlled. Doyle kept a portion of the refund as his fee.

Doyle was a Certified Public Accountant until 1987.  On February 20, 2014, he was charged in a sixteen count indictment with mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  Doyle pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 19, 2015, before the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge, in Oakland.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C § 1341 and 1343, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C § 1028A, is two years in prison, consecutive to the underlying felony and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant US Attorney Thomas Moore is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Updated February 18, 2015