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Press Release

Austin Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Defrauding the IRS and a Title Company in Order to Facilitate a Real Estate Transaction

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

In Austin this morning, a federal judge sentenced 32-year-old Russell Eric Spillers to 14 months in prison for providing false tax information to a title company in order to facilitate a real estate transaction, announced United States Attorney Richard Durbin, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge Ruben Florez, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Mid-States Field Division.


In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Sam Sparks ordered that Spillers pay a $7,200 fine as well as $21,026.70 restitution. Judge Sparks also ordered that Spillers be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.


On January 23, 2017, Spillers pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. In 2015, Spillers, while acting as a real estate agent, attempted to sell a house that at the time, had four federal tax liens against it. By pleading guilty, Spillers admitted to creating and emailing to a title company a fraudulent IRS Letter 4025 (Conditional Commitment to Discharge Certain Property from Federal Tax Lien). That letter, dated December 18, 2015, claimed that the IRS had agreed to accept a $1,300 payment from the sale of a property to satisfy the tax liens and allow the sale of the property to go through. Based on that fraudulent letter, the property was sold and as a result, the defendant received $21,026.70.


“TIGTA’s mission includes protecting the integrity of tax administration and the ability of the IRS to collect revenue owed to the Federal Government,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Those who violate the Nation’s tax laws and adversely affect tax administration by falsifying IRS documents, as in this case, must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he added.


TIGTA conducted this investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Updated March 31, 2017