Rochester Man Indicted in Tax Scheme
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Rochester has returned a 117-count indictment charging Norman Perry, 50, of Rochester, N.Y., with mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and making false claims to the United States. The mail fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, making a false claim to the United States carries a maximum of five years in prison and aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of two years in prison, to be served consecutive to any other term of imprisonment. All of the charges also carry a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendant posted advertisements in Rochester claiming that he could find lost or unclaimed funds. Individuals then provided Perry with their name, address and social security number and agreed to pay the defendant a fee, generally in the amount of $300, for each $1,000 check they received. In reality, Perry used the individuals information to prepare and file approximately 1,200 false and fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service claiming refunds in excess of $1,000,000. The defendant stated that the individuals had qualified educational expenditures and were entitled to receive the American Opportunity Credit, a refundable tax credit for educational expenses. None of the individuals were students, none had incurred any educational expenditures and none provided such information to Perry.
The Indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge Toni Weirauch.The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.