Skip to main content
Press Release

Oakland Resident Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison In False Tax Refund Scheme

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

OAKLAND – Kenneth Brown was sentenced to 30 months in prison for conspiracy to file false claims in a fraudulent tax refund scheme, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon.

Kenneth Brown, 50, of Oakland, pleaded guilty on July 23, 2015, to conspiracy to file false claims.  According to the plea agreement, from April 2009 through June 2011, Kenneth Brown conspired with his daughter, Kenya Brown, to file false federal income tax returns with the IRS.  The false tax returns that Kenneth Brown and Kenya Brown filed contained fictitious W-2 forms requesting refunds based on the fictitious W-2s.  To carry out the scheme, the defendants asked the IRS to wire the fraudulent tax refunds onto pre-paid debit cards or bank accounts they controlled.  For example, Kenneth Brown used his sister’s bank account to receive a fraudulent tax refund.  He also listed the bank account number for a beauty supply business he partly owned.  The defendants also directed that pre-paid debit cards associated with the fraudulent refunds be sent to addresses where they could access the mail.  From 2009 through 2011, Brown obtained $167,152 in illegal proceeds. 

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Jon Tigar, U.S. District Judge.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Tigar ordered Brown to a term of 3 years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $167,152.  Brown will begin serving his sentence on January 4, 2016.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Newman is prosecuting these cases.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. 

Updated September 13, 2017