Kent Tax Preparer Indicted for Wire Fraud, False Claims, and Aggravated Identity Theft
Used Clients Personal Information To Submit False Claims For Refunds
A Kent, Washington tax preparer was arrested this morning, following his indictment for a tax fraud scheme in which he falsely claimed tax refunds while victimizing his clients, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. RYAN LANH YANN, 60, will appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:00 PM today on ten counts of wire fraud, four counts of false, fictitious or fraudulent claims, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges YANN collected more than $300,000 with his illegal scheme.
According to the indictment, YANN operated a tax preparation business in Kent and between 2009 and 2012 prepared income tax returns for clients – many of whom were immigrants who were not familiar with the U.S. tax system and did not have strong English language skills. YANN would provide his clients one version of their tax return, while filing a different version of the tax return with the IRS. On the filed tax return, YANN would claim additional false deductions, or dependents, inflating the size of the tax refund. YANN would keep the additional refund money for himself. In some instances, YANN would allegedly tell a client he owed taxes, and then keep the money the client provided. He would then file a second version of the return in which he claimed a tax refund, which he kept for his own use.
The wire fraud counts relate to the false tax returns filed by YANN. The false claims counts detail specific false tax refund claims ranging from about $500 to more than $2300. The aggravated identity theft charges relate to his use of his clients’ identifying information as part of his fraud scheme.
Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison term in addition to any other sentence imposed in the case. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Making false and fictitious claims is punishable by up to five years in prison.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Woods.