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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Scheme

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX #:                 (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that James Chatmon, 36, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by making false claims for income tax refunds before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who is handling the case, stated that Chatmon gathered biographical information from more than a dozen individuals which he then used to generate false W-2 forms. The individuals then used the forms to file false Federal and New York State income tax returns. Claims for refunds and credits were made on 17 tax returns, even though the persons filing the returns were not entitled to any refunds.

Proceeds totaling $105,088 were divided between Chatmon and the tax-return filers during the scheme, which took place between January 2010 and April 2013.  The defendant will be required to pay restitution of $102,149 to the IRS, and $2,939 to the New York State Department of Finance. The total attempted loss figure exceeds $120,000, as some of the false returns did not result in refunds.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 3, 2015 before Judge Arcara.

Updated May 20, 2015