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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 13, 2015

Federal Tax Prosecutions Serve As Reminder To Taxpayers To Comply With Tax Obligations As April 15 Deadline Approaches

CHICAGO -- Eleven Chicago and suburban residents, among others, are facing federal prosecution for alleged federal income tax crimes in various separate cases filed recently.   Defendants from Bolingbrook and Palatine were charged with evading income taxes by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts that they controlled and using the money for their own personal purposes.  A tax preparer from Lockport was charged with assisting clients in obtaining over $1 million in fraudulent refunds and other defendants from Chicago were indicted in an alleged scheme to use stolen identities to fraudulently claim and obtain tax refunds based on fictitious returns. 

“The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is focused on ensuring that taxpayers pay their fair share,” said Stephen Boyd, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.  “Tax fraud does not know a season -- IRS special agents pursue criminals year round, not only at filing deadlines.  Taxpayers who might be thinking about cheating should think twice or they will risk the consequences,” he said.

“Federal tax prosecutions occur throughout the year but at this time of year it is especially prudent to remind taxpayers of the importance of voluntary compliance with their tax obligations,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

In addition to criminal penalties, including incarceration, fines, and the costs of prosecution, convicted defendants remain responsible for any taxes and interest due, as well as civil penalties of up to 75 percent of the tax owed, Mr. Fardon noted.  And those making false claims against the government may be required to pay restitution or may be sued civilly for an amount greater than the fraudulent claims, he added.

LEOPOLDO RODRIGUEZ, 42, of Bolingbrook, was indicted April 9 on 3 counts of tax evasion and 3 counts of filing false federal income tax returns.  Rodriguez worked at Chicago Pallet Service, which was a business that bought and sold pallets, and the indictment alleges that Rodriguez diverted income from the sale of pallets by his employer to bank accounts that he maintained and controlled, including a bank account maintained in the name of a business he operated called Sugar Daddy Stables.  Specifically, the indictment alleges that Rodriguez diverted approximately $230,000 in 2010, approximately $370,000 in 2011, and approximately $530,000 in 2012.  Rodriguez also allegedly filed false individual tax returns for each of those years when he failed to report the income that he diverted from his employer on his personal returns.  Rodriguez will be arraigned at a date to be determined by the district court.  Each count of filing false returns carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and each count of tax evasion carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.  Each of the counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hayes is representing the government.

WILLIAM DADDANO, 58, of Palatine, was indicted April 7 on 2 counts of tax evasion and 2 counts of filing false federal income tax returns.  Daddano, who owned real estate appraisal businesses, allegedly evaded payment of taxes by having his appraisal companies issue checks to a defunct company and funneling the money through a bank account maintained under the name of the defunct company, Real Property Valuation, and then using the money as his own personal income.  The indictment alleges that Daddano used Real Property Valuation to divert over $350,000 in 2008 and over $280,000 in 2009, and that he filed false corporate and personal returns for each of those years.  Daddano will be arraigned on a date to be determined by the district court.  Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and each count of filing a false income tax return carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison.  Each of the counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Mecklenburg.

 Two additional defendants were indicted on April 2, 2015 in an alleged scheme to fraudulently claim tax refunds in excess of $290,000. EBONY RICHARDSON, 34, of Chicago and LATASHA WEATHERALL, 35, of Chicago, were each charged with 4 counts of wire fraud and 2 counts of theft of government funds in an 8-count indictment.  According to the indictment, Richardson and Weatherall caused over 120 fraudulent tax returns to be filed on behalf of various taxpayers without the taxpayer’s knowledge or consent and then caused refunds exceeding $290,000 to be deposited into various accounts controlled by the defendants.  The indictment alleges that the fraudulent returns contained false amounts related to items of income, wages, pension distributions, federal tax withholdings, Earned Income Credits, and education and other credits.  Richardson and Weatherall each allegedly had control and access to multiple accounts into which the fraudulent refunds were deposited as part of the scheme.  Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, each count of theft of government funds carries a maximum of 10 years, and all counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendants or loss to the government.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Petersen is representing the government.

Other recently charged cases include the following:

TIFFANY EICHELBERGER-MYERS, 32, formerly of Lockport, was charged April 10 with 2 counts of willfully assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns.  Eichelberger-Myers worked as a tax preparer at Shelby Investment, LLC and managed a branch location that did business under the name “Tiff’s Taxes.”  The information alleges that she fraudulently obtained over $1,100,000 in tax refunds for clients for tax years 2010 through 2012 by falsely claiming, among other things, business losses and education expenses on behalf of her clients.  Each count of assisting in the preparation of false returns carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government.  (Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Streicker)

DAVID A. BROWN, 47, of Country Clubs Hills, was charged April 9 on 27 counts of wire fraud, 33 counts of filing false claims, and 4 counts of filing false income tax returns.  Brown, who owned and operated a tax preparation business under the name of Tax Professional Consultant Agency, Inc. in Chicago, allegedly prepared and filed returns on behalf of clients that falsely claimed business losses, casualty and theft losses, and Schedule A deductions, in addition to false claims of entitlement to Earned Income Credits and Educations Credits for the 2008 through 2012 tax years.  Brown was also charged with filing false individual tax returns on his own behalf for tax years 2010 through 2013.  Brown will be arraigned on a date to be determined by the district court.  Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, each count of filing a false claim carries a sentence of 5 years in prison, each count of filing a false tax return carries a sentence of 3 years in prison, and all counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government.  The United States Secret Service also participated in the investigation.  (Assistant U.S. Attorney Bolling Haxall)

SOL K. WINER, 75, of Highland Park was charged April 10 with filing a false income tax return.  The information alleges that Winer substantially underrepresented his total income for tax year 2011.  The charge carries a sentence of 3 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government. (Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick King)

DYONE DORSEY, 39, and JANET DORSEY, 42, of Chicago, were charged on April 2, 2015 in a 35-count indictment with preparing and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns.  According to the indictment, the Dorseys owned and operated a tax return preparation business in Chicago that did business under the name “Dorsey’s Tax Service.”  Between 2009 and 2011, the Dorseys allegedly assisted in the preparation of income tax returns on behalf of clients that falsely claimed business losses as well as other deductions and credits to which the clients were not entitled.  The indictment also charged the Dorseys with filing a false joint income tax return on their own behalf for tax year 2010 as well as charging the Dorseys individually for filing false income tax returns on their own behalf for tax years 2008 and 2009.  Each of the charges carries a sentence of 3 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government. (Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Fayhee)

RONALD TAYLOR, 49, of Evanston, was charged on April 1, 2015 in a 4-count indictment with filing false claims and theft of government funds.  The indictment alleges that Taylor filed three income tax returns for trusts for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 tax years falsely claiming entitlement to refunds totaling $900,000 and stealing a tax refund of $300,000.  Each count of filing a false claim carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, each count of theft of government funds carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and all counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government. (Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Daniel)

SOLOMON SMITH, JR., 56, of Berkeley, was charged on April 1, 2015 in a 2-count indictment with filing and assisting in the preparation of filing of false tax returns.  According to the indictment, Smith filed income tax returns for trusts that falsely claimed, among other things, income and tax withholding amounts, and falsely claimed entitlement to a refund of $381,180 for 2008 and $381,213 for 2009.  Each count carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or loss to the government.  (Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heinze)

In each case, if convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that criminal charges are not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated July 23, 2015