Portland Man Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Federal Income Tax Return
PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Mark Edward Staggs, 64, a resident of Portland, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison and two years’ supervised release for filing a false federal income tax return in 2011. Staggs was also ordered to pay more than $142,000 in restitution to the IRS.
According to court documents, from 2009 through 2019, Staggs owned a used office furniture business in the Portland area. During this time, he received all of his gross income from several large clients in Oregon and California, who paid him with checks. Staggs would travel from Oregon to California to cash the checks at a check cashing service in San Jose, California. His use of a false social security number prompted the check cashing service to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Staggs kept the cash he received and never deposited it into his business bank account or recorded it in his business records. When the check cashing service began refusing Staggs’ checks, he enlisted two acquaintances to cash the checks on his behalf. Staggs encouraged these acquaintances to lie if anyone questioned them about his scheme. In total, between 2010 and 2013, Staggs failed to report nearly $500,000 of income, resulting in tax loss of $142,583.
On April 9, 2019, Staggs pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false federal income tax return before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and IRS-CI remind Oregonians that tax day is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. For tips to assist taxpayers in choosing a reputable tax professional or preparing their own taxes, visit: https://www.irs.gov/help-resources.