Cedar City Man Sentenced to Prison for Felony Tax Crimes
Las Vegas, Nev. – A man who submitted false and fraudulent federal tax returns for himself and others causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses to the IRS, was sentenced today to 2½ years in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Michael Titus, 49, most recently of Cedar City, Utah, but currently in federal custody, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay approximately $300,000 in restitution to the IRS. Titus pleaded guilty on Sept. 4, 2012, to one count of filing a false claim with the IRS.
According to plea agreement, beginning in about 2007, Titus prepared and filed fraudulent federal tax returns for himself and others in Nevada and Utah, for the purpose of obtaining significant tax refunds to which the taxpayer was not entitled. Through his fraudulent practices, Titus caused losses to the IRS of approximately $468,481. Among other things, Titus created fraudulent W-2 forms and claimed false business losses on the tax returns. Specifically on Jan. 9, 2009, Titus prepared and filed a fraudulent tax return for himself and his wife claiming over $450,000 in income from Medco Networks, Inc., as well as significant withholdings and business losses, when Titus knew that he had not been so employed or earned such income and did not have such withholdings or losses. By filing this false and fraudulent return, the IRS issued to Titus a refund of $49,682.
Titus has several prior felony convictions in Missouri and Arkansas for burglary and theft, as well as a gross misdemeanor conviction in Clark County in 2007 for securities fraud.
The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn C. Newman.
Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.