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Press Release

Leeds Resident Indicted For Scheme To Defraud The IRS; Charges Allege At Least 60 Fraudulent Tax Returns Were Filed

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

SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal grand jury returned a 24-count indictment Wednesday afternoon charging Landon Blake Pilkey, age 33, of Leeds, Utah, with what the indictment alleges was a scheme to defraud the IRS.  Money obtained through the alleged fraud scheme was transferred to other co-conspirators in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.

Announcing the indictment are Utah U.S. Attorney John W. Huber and Tara Sullivan, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the Las Vegas IRS Field Office.

According to the indictment, the fraud scheme operated from about March 10, 2013, to May 28, 2013. Pilkey and other co-conspirators in the case used the names and personal identifying information of deceased individuals to file and fraudulently obtain federal tax returns.  At least 60 fraudulent tax returns were filed as part of the scheme. The fraudulent tax returns resulted in deposits of $58,658, the indictment alleges.

Pilkey facilitated the receipt of money as a part of the scheme. According to the indictment, Pilkey maintained and monitored several bank accounts where fraudulent tax refunds were deposited.  The indictment alleges Pilkey transferred money from the accounts to other co-conspirators of the scheme in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates  Pilkey made at least 15 withdrawals from the accounts where the fraudulent tax returns were deposited and wrote four checks to himself from the accounts for which he had no signing authority, the indictment alleges. 

The first count of the indictment alleges conspiracy to submit false claims in connection with the attempt to defraud the IRS.  The potential maximum penalty for this count is 10 years in prison. 

Theft of public money is charged in 19 counts of the indictment reflecting money Pilkey received through the fraudulently filed federal tax returns.  The potential maximum penalty for each count of theft of public money is 10 years in prison.

The final four counts of the indictment allege aggravated identity theft.  These counts allege Pilkey possessed and used the identification of another person to commit a felony – in this case, theft of government money.  Each identity theft count has a potential minimum-mandatory sentence of two years in prison.  The sentence would be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed in the case.

Pilkey will be issued a summons to appearance in federal court.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Daynes is prosecuting the case.  Special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation are investigating the case.

Updated January 25, 2018

Identity Theft