Caused $14.6 Million in Fraudulent Tax Refund Claims to be Filed with IRS
A Florida man was sentenced to 51 months in prison for his role in a nationwide tax fraud scheme that involved more than 200 participants in at least 19 states.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Aaron Aqueron, of Clermont, recruited clients to the fraud scheme by convincing them that their mortgages and other debts entitled them to tax refunds. Aqueron collected tax and financial information from the clients to send to co-conspirators, who prepared tax returns and other tax documents to submit to the IRS. These tax returns falsely claimed that banks and other financial institutions had withheld large amounts of income tax from the participants, thereby entitling the clients to a refund. In reality, the financial institutions had not paid any income to, or withheld any taxes from, these individuals. In total, the tax returns filed by Aqueron’s clients sought more than $14.6 million in tax refunds and caused the IRS to actually pay out more than $7.6 million.
Fumo v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2021-31 | May 17, 2021 | Lauber, J. | Dkt. No. 17614-13
Taxpayer, a state senator with 30 years of service, was convicted on Federal criminal charges, including mail and wire fraud. One victim included a 501(c)(1) & (3) organization, exempt from Federal income tax. Taxpayer influenced the tax-exempt organization’s formation as, at his direction, three members of his senatorial staff incorporated the organization for the purposes of maintaining and improving the aesthetic appearance of the taxpayer’s district. At all periods in question, at least one member of the taxpayer’s staff worked for the charity organization as either President or Executive Director while remaining employed by the Senator. Taxpayer influenced, as chairman of a senate appropriations committee, funding for the charitable entity from public and private sources.
More than 200 global tax and economic crime experts have identified key areas for international action following the fifth OECD Forum on Tax and Crime, in London. In a week dominated by media coverage of offshore issues, the Forum brought experts on tax, customs, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, policing, and prosecution together to agree priorities for action.
The Forum is the latest in a series of OECD-led events and an important opportunity for the international community to strengthen collaboration in tackling these global issues.
A Greenwich, Connecticut man pleaded guilty October 26, 2017, to failing to report funds he maintained in foreign bank accounts to the Department of Treasury, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Chief Don Fort, IRS Criminal Investigation.
Prime Partners SA Will Pay $5 Million in Forfeiture and Restitution; Receives Non-Prosecution Agreement As a Result of its Extraordinary Cooperation
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Stuart M. Goldberg, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and James D. Robnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced today that Prime Partners SA (“Prime Partners”) entered into a non-prosecution agreement (“NPA”) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and agreed to pay $5 million to the United States for assisting U.S. taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining undeclared foreign bank accounts from 2001 through 2010. Read More
PHH Corp. PHH Mortgage Corp. and PHH Home Loans (collectively, PHH) have agreed to pay the United States $74,453,802 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA), guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and purchased by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) that did not meet applicable requirements, the Justice Department announced today. PHH is headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and PHH Home Loans operates in Edina, Minnesota. PHH has agreed to pay $65 million to resolve the FHA allegations and $9.45 million to resolve the VA and FHFA allegations. Read More
Conspiracy Was Conducted Through Social Media and Encrypted Messaging Applications
An e-commerce company and its top executive have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online to customers in the United States. Zaappaaz Inc. (d/b/a WB Promotions Inc., Wrist-Band.com and Customlanyard.net) and its president Azim Makanojiya agreed to plead guilty to a one-count criminal violation of the Sherman Act. Read More
A citizen and resident of Switzerland pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States in connection with her work as the head of a team of bankers for Credit Suisse AG, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia. Read More
A Canadian man pleaded guilty today in Rochester, New York to conspiring to defraud the United States and stealing government funds, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. for the Western District of New York. Read More
The United States has a well-developed and robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regime through which it is effectively investigating and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing. However, the system has serious gaps that impede timely access to beneficial ownership information.
Over the past several years, taxpayers—and I mean all taxpayers, from the lowest socio-economic level to the highest—have been victimized or at least contacted by scam artists posing as IRS agents.