Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Filing Hundreds of False Tax Returns
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a Florida man was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison for filing hundreds of false tax returns in several states, including Oklahoma.
The Oregonian / OregonLive reports that Damian Barrett of Homestead, Florida, filed 745 false tax returns in 19 different states from 2015 to 2018.
Court documents indicate that Barrett owned two Florida-based tax preparation companies and used the first to submit tax returns for legitimate clients and the second to submit fraudulent tax returns.
“With the tax filing season quickly approaching, it is important that all Americans who choose to hire a tax preparation professional take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are legitimate and that ‘They have their best interests in mind,’ said Scott Erik Asphaug, acting US attorney for the Oregon district. “The misuse of personally identifiable information to submit fraudulent tax returns on behalf of unknown clients is a serious crime and should be treated as such by our office. We applaud the IRS’s efforts to hold Mr. Barrett accountable for his crimes.
To advance his plan, Barrett used the names, Social Security numbers and employer identification numbers of various people, some of whom were his clients, to submit fraudulent returns. In addition, he opened bank accounts in the name of some of his victims to receive fraudulent refunds. In total, Barrett claimed almost $ 900,000 and received over $ 234,000 in fraudulent refunds.
He pleaded guilty to mail fraud, filing a false income statement and aggravated identity theft.
Suggest a correction