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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Monday, February 2, 2015

Albuquerque Accountant Pleads Guilty to Misusing Treasury Department Names and Symbols

ALBUQUERQUE – James A. Vaughn, 64, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to the misdemeanor offense of misusing Department of Treasury names and symbols.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Vaughn will be sentenced to a year of probation.

Vaughn, a certified public accountant, was indicted in April 2014.  The two-count indictment charged Vaughn with misusing Treasury Department names and symbols and mail fraud.  Count 1 of the indictment alleged that in connection with his accounting practice, Vaughn used the words “Department of the Treasury” and “Internal Revenue Service” to convey the false impression that his business activity had been approved or endorsed by the Treasury Department or IRS.  Count 2 charged Vaughn with sending his client a bill by mail for work that had not actually been done, by falsely representing to a client that the client’s tax lien had been resolved by the Treasury Department and IRS, as described in Count 1.

Today Vaughn pled guilty to misusing Treasury Department names and symbols.  In entering his guilty plea, Vaughn admitted that in Jan. 2013, a client requested his services in resolving a federal tax lien.  Rather than actually resolving the tax lien, Vaughn admitted that he created a false document that used the Treasury symbol and stated that the tax lien had been resolved.  Vaughn committed this offense on Jan. 30, 2013, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

Vaughn’s sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.  In addition to his probationary sentence, he faces a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.

The case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec.

Updated February 5, 2015