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Press Release

Cleveland Heights man named in 22-count indictment, charged with identity theft and tax violations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A 22-count indictment was returned charging a Cleveland Heights man with identity theft and tax violations, said Acting U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon and Kathy A Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.

Darryl E. Farmer, 44, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud, nine counts of false tax claims, eight counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Farmer held himself out as a neighborhood tax preparer who paid recruiters a “referral fee” to provide him identifications and personal identifiers of others. Farmer used this information to file false tax returns, including claiming tax credits for businesses that did not exist, according to the indictment.

Farmer also opened multiple personal and business bank accounts, which he controlled, in the names of these various people in order to deposit the refunds from the tax returns he filed, according to the information.

Farmer falsely claimed more than $100,000 from the IRS between 2010 and 2012, according to the indictment.

“This defendant stole identities and stole from taxpayers,” Rendon said.

“IRS Criminal Investigation stands ready to investigate anyone who would put a taxpayer at risk for a quick profit,” Enstrom said. "Our special agents use their investigative and financial expertise to detect and hold accountable abusive tax return preparers who falsely tell taxpayers they are eligible for tax credits that they are not entitled to receive."

If convicted, the court will determine the defendants’ sentence after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal record, if any, the defendants’ role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum.  In most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bennett following an investigation by the IRS.

A charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated June 21, 2016

Identity Theft