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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Inmate Pleads Guilty To Filing False Income Tax Returns For Fellow Prisoners

CINCINNATI, OHIO -- James Jeremy Savage, 41, originally from Springfield, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of filing false claims for income tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Savage was incarcerated in Ohio state correctional facilities in Warren and Madison counties when he committed this crime.  Savage faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office announced the guilty plea entered before Chief U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott

According to court documents, during the 2007 through 2011 income tax years Savage participated in a scheme to defraud the IRS relative to filing false claims for income tax refunds.

From approximately October 22, 2008 to August 24, 2011 while incarcerated, Savage prepared fictitious income tax returns for fellow inmates.  The income tax returns prepared by Savage reported false wages not supported by Forms W-2 or other supporting income documentation and the income tax refunds were calculated based on false federal income tax withholdings as well as various tax credits.

Savage knew the inmates, for which he prepared income tax returns for, had not worked and in some cases had been incarcerated for multiple years.  In many instances, Savage prepared multiple income tax returns for the inmates, including income tax returns for the prior income tax years that had not been filed.  In an effort to convince the inmates that they were entitled to an income tax refund, Savage said the money was "free money," a result of "stimulus money" provided by the President, as well as money from back taxes.

Savage caused at least 99 false claims for income tax refunds to be filed with the IRS totaling at least $148,307.04.

“The object of this refund fraud scheme was to swindle the government and the taxpaying public,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charges, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.

Savage is currently in custody in Chillicothe Correctional Institution on unrelated state charges and will remain in custody pending sentencing in this case, for which a date has not been set.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne L. Porter and investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation.
Updated July 23, 2015