Santa Fe Man Sentenced to Prison for Violating Federal Tax Laws
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $118,470.76 in Restitution to IRS
ALBUQUERQUE – Andre Lewis, 34, of Santa Fe, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on federal tax offenses. Lewis also was ordered to pay $118,470.76, less any money already repaid by other tax payers, in restitution to the IRS. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Dawn Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation.
Lewis was arrested on May 8, 2014, on an eleven-count indictment. Count 1 of the indictment charged Lewis with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and Count 2 charged him with making a materially false statement to a federal officer. Counts 3 through 11 charged Lewis with preparing and aiding and abetting the preparation and filing of false tax returns. Lewis committed the offenses between Feb. 2009 and Aug. 2009 in Bernalillo, County, N.M.
According to the indictment, from Feb. to July 2009, Lewis conspired with others to defraud the IRS by preparing and filing fraudulent claims for tax refunds. Lewis and his co-conspirators perpetuated the scheme by obtaining the names, identifiers and W-2 Forms for federal taxpayers, and using that information to electronically file federal income tax returns included either false claims for the First Time Home Buyer Credit or false withholding information. Lewis and his conspirators thus obtained tax refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS.
On Dec. 18, 2014, Lewis entered guilty pleas to Counts 1 and 3 of the indictment charging him with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return. In his plea agreement, Lewis admitted filing a false tax return in Feb. 2009, by which he fraudulently obtained $16,024.14 from the IRS by misrepresenting his tax withholdings. Lewis also admitted that in 2009 he was involved in filing at least ten false tax returns and fraudulently receiving refunds based on those returns. In his plea agreement, Lewis admitted defrauding the IRS of an aggregate of $118,470.76 through this unlawful scheme.
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation in Albuquerque and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J. Sullivan.