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Press Release

Northern Nevada Tax Return Preparer Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Tax Fraud Conspiracy And Theft Of Elder Client's Money

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

RENO, Nev. – A Winnemucca tax preparer was sentenced today to a total of five years in federal prison for his role in a tax return conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan for the IRS-Criminal Investigation.

“As tax season approaches, today’s sentence serves as a reminder that preparing or filing false tax returns is crime,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Our office will continue to work closely with the IRS to pursue justice when individuals attempt to evade tax obligations.”

“Mr. Bidegary used his knowledge as a former IRS employee to steal from his clients and the government,” said SAC Sullivan. “Mr. Bidegary does not represent the integrity of IRS employees and IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to prosecute cases that bring harm to both the community and the government.”

Thomas Michael Bidegary, 67, a former IRS employee who co-owned Winnemucca Tax and Bookkeeping Service, a tax preparation and bookkeeping services business, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit tax fraud and theft of government money, related to two separate criminal indictments. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones sentenced Bidegary to three years of supervised release.

Bidegary conspired with a co-defendant to prepare and file fraudulent individual income tax returns on behalf of clients. Beginning in at least 2009 and continuing through December 2014, he advised clients that by making small “investments” into various businesses he owned, the clients could decrease their annual taxable income and increase their tax refunds. As part of the scheme, after receiving checks from clients, Bidegary would prepare false tax forms for the corresponding tax year that included large fictitious business losses in order to reduce the client’s taxable income and obtain a larger refund than what the client was entitled to receive. As a result of the false tax returns, he caused a tax loss of approximately $259,880.

In a separate criminal case filed against Bidegary, he prepared and filed an unauthorized tax return on behalf of an elderly woman in Battle Mountain, Nevada. After receiving the $12,500 tax refund, he deposited the check into a bank account which was then converted for his own personal use.

The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sue Fahami. 


Updated January 29, 2019