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Press Release

Pickaway County Businessman Convicted of Numerous Income Tax Fraud Charges

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A United States District Court jury convicted John Anderson Rankin, 54, of Circleville, Ohio, of 17 tax-related charges.

 

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office announced the verdict reached yesterday afternoon following a two-week trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

 

A federal grand jury indicted Rankin in July 2015 with seven counts of failing to account for and pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), six counts of willfully filing false federal individual income tax returns with the IRS, three counts of willfully filing false federal corporate income tax returns with the IRS and one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the IRS.

 

According to court documents and testimony, Rankin operated a number of Circleville-based businesses, including Connectivity Systems, Inc., a mainframe software company that provides internet protocol development and servicing. Rankin Enterprises, LLC was a shell corporation that included the Circleville Movie House, Screening Room, J.R. Hooks Café and Tootles Pumpkin Inn. Rankin also owned the Tuscan Table, an Italian restaurant in downtown Circleville.

 

Between June 2008 and April 2011 Rankin, conducting business as Rankin Enterprises and Tuscan Table, failed to account for and pay over to the IRS all federal income and FICA taxes.

 

Rankin also filed false Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns with the IRS for the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 income tax years. He claimed a corrected adjusted gross income amount of a negative $1.7 million, when in actuality his corrected adjusted gross income was more than $8.9 million.

 

In 2010, Rankin filed a false individual income tax return that reported an adjusted gross income of nearly $27,000, when his actual gross income was nearly $1.6 million.

 

In addition, Rankin filed false U.S. Corporation Income Tax Returns with the IRS for Connectivity Systems Incorporated for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 income tax years. These false forms claimed a fraudulent accelerated Research & Development Credit in the amount of $1.7 million against the corporate taxes due and owing of Connectivity Systems Incorporated.

 

Lastly, between January 2005 and July 2015 Rankin made false and misleading statements to agents of the IRS and concealed information from agents of the IRS.

 

“Rankin not only failed to pay his personal taxes, but he also failed to pay the Social Security and Medicare taxes of his employees, cheating his own workers for his personal benefit,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said.

 

“The conviction of Rankin proves that if you think you can outsmart the IRS, you will fail,” said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office make a formidable team when it comes to bringing individuals to justice in tax fraud cases.”

 

Failing to account for and pay over employment taxes to the IRS carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Willfully filing a false individual and corporate federal income tax return with the IRS and obstructing and impeding the due administration of the IRS carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

 

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by IRS-Criminal Investigation, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel A. Brown and Noah R. Litton, who are representing the United States in this case.

 

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Updated September 15, 2017

Topic
Tax