Rockford Man Charged with Tax Fraud
ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of tax fraud and interfering with internal revenue laws.
MICHAEL MENDOZA, 31, was charged with sixteen counts of making false claims on Internal Revenue Service forms and one count of attempting to interfere with the administration of internal revenue laws.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.
As alleged in the indictment, Mendoza made false representations regarding wages, income tax amounts and withholding amounts, and claimed refunds he was not entitled to for the tax years 2014 through 2016, totaling $356,844. The indictment further alleges that Mendoza electronically filed federal income tax returns for himself and in the names of other persons, causing refunds to be deposited into bank accounts he owned or controlled. It is alleged that after the IRS began an examination of federal income tax returns filed by Mendoza from Sept. 23, 2015, through Dec. 5, 2016, Mendoza obstructed the examination when he submitted fictitious documents and made false statements to the IRS concerning his 2014 employment.
Each count of making a false claim to the IRS carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and full restitution. Attempting to interfere with the administration of internal revenue laws carries a fine of up to $5,000 or up to three years in prison, or both. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Mendoza will be arraigned on a date yet to be determined in U.S. District Court in Rockford.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.