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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Inmate Sentenced For Filing False Income Tax Returns For Fellow Prisoners

CINCINNATI, OHIO -- James Jeremy Savage, 41, originally from Springfield, Ohio, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the amount of $148,307.04 for filing false claims for income tax refunds with IRS. Savage was incarcerated in Ohio state correctional facilities in Warren and Madison counties when he committed this crime.  Savage previously pleaded guilty one count of a multi-count indictment charging Savage with this scheme.

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 sentence handed down today by 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 for his jailmates serving prison terms.

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 income documentation and the tax refunds were calculated based on false federal income tax withholdings as well as various tax credits.

Savage knew the inmates, for whom he prepared income tax returns, 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 returns for the prior 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 ninety-nine (99) false claims for income tax refunds to be filed with the IRS totaling at least $148,307.04.

Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charges, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office stated, “This 30-month sentence demonstrates our unwavering commitment to protecting the interests of law-abiding taxpayers. We will continue to partner with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and investigate the criminals who engage in such brazen and fraudulent conduct, ensuring that the only citizens who receive tax refunds are those who are entitled to them.”

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, and Assistant United States Attorneys Anne L. Porter, who prosecuted the case. 

Updated July 23, 2015