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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 25, 2015

San Jose Man Charged With Tax Evasion, Obstructing The Administration Of Internal Revenue Laws, Social Security Fraud, And Aggravated Identity Theft

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Walter Rhodes today on tax evasion, obstructing the administration of internal revenue laws, social security 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 indictment, on August 21, 2009, Rhodes, of San Jose, opened a bank account using another individual’s (Individual A’s) social security number, authorizing himself as a signatory.  On December 28, 2010, Rhodes used Individual A’s social security number to complete an IRS W-4 relating to new employment.  Rhodes directed the employer to deposit wages from that employment into the bank account previously opened with Individual A’s social security number.  These actions caused the IRS to attribute Rhodes’ income to Individual A.  Rhodes was charged with one count each of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201; obstructing the administration of internal revenue laws, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a); social security fraud, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B); and aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A.

Rhodes is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose on July 7, 2015, before the Honorable Howard R. Lloyd, U.S. Magistrate Judge.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted of tax evasion, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum sentence for obstructing the administration of internal revenue laws is three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.  The maximum sentence for social security fraud is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for aggravated identity theft is two years in prison, to be served consecutively to the underlying felony, and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Tolkoff and Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Moore are prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Updated September 1, 2015