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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Former Pilot Sentenced In Tax Fraud Scheme

Used Hijacked Company Names to File For Fuel Tax Refunds

ATLANTA - Former pilot Charlie Shivers, III, has been sentenced to serve over seven years in federal prison for his role in a tax fraud scheme.

“Tax fraudsters rob not only the government, but honest taxpayers who are paying their fair share,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  The defendant in this case went beyond cheating on his own taxes, to file over a hundred false returns that were totally fictitious, claiming over $35 million in fraudulent fuel tax refunds.  This office is committed to putting tax fraudsters where they belong – behind bars.”

“Today’s sentencing of Mr. Shivers should serve as a stark reminder to others that such greed-based criminal behavior as seen in this case comes with a cost,” stated Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation.  “Individuals cannot fraudulently enrich their bank accounts at the expense of the United States Treasury and other taxpayers.”

“The United States Secret Service and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to maintain the taxpayer’s trust in our economic system.  We will continue to combine our investigative capabilities to pursue and arrest offenders who violate this trust,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Shivers filed and caused to be filed over 100 fraudulent corporate tax returns, claiming $35 million in refunds for fuel taxes falsely claimed to have been paid on fuel purchased for off-road company vehicles.  The IRS actually paid Shivers and his co-conspirators over $5.6 million from those falsely claimed tax refunds prior to his arrest in May 2012.  The false claims were made in the names of hijacked corporations and shell companies, none of which used off-road vehicles or paid the fuel tax claimed for refund.                                                                   

Shivers, 40, of Atlanta, Ga., pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false claims against the United States on August 9, 2012.  He was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash to 7 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay $5,630,681.66 in restitution to the United States Treasury. 

This case was jointly investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Gale McKenzie and Alana R. Black prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.

Updated April 8, 2015