Operator Of O.I.D. Process Sentenced To 41 Months In Prison For $228 Million Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Mark R. Maness was sentenced today to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $1,176,668 for conspiring to submit false claims against the United States, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez, announced.
On November 18, 2014, Maness, 65, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to submit false claims. According to the plea agreement, Maness and a partner operated a business named O.I.D. Process. Through the business, Maness and his partner aided and assisted in the preparation and presentation to the IRS of fraudulent U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns; in the returns, Maness claimed fraudulent Original Issue Discount interest income and federal tax withholdings, resulting in claims for fraudulent federal income tax refunds.
O.I.D. Process clients filed approximately 200 returns requesting fraudulent refunds totaling approximately $228 million.
Maness and his partner charged clients a non-refundable registration fee to join the organization and a 20% “refund acquisition fee” for any refund check issued by the IRS. They also operated a website and conducted weekly conference calls with clients to offer advice and guidance on how to complete fraudulent tax returns. Clients were required to change their mailing addresses with the IRS to the address of an attorney in San Francisco, California, who was working with Maness and his partner, so that they could ensure receipt of their 20% refund acquisition fee.
The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Susan Illston, United States District Judge. District Judge Illston also sentenced the defendant to an 18-month period of supervised release.
United States Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Matthew J. Kluge and Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. Pitman are prosecuting this case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by IRS-CI.