On behalf of Raymond V. Giudice, P.C. posted in Criminal Defense on Friday, February 1, 2013
Tax season is now upon us here in Atlanta and many of us are scurrying to get together our paperwork, and pick up all of the necessary forms, not to mention decipher all of the confusing tax laws and requirements. Filing taxes is very complicated for most of us, and it is important to get it right not only because hard-earned money is on the line, but also because mistakes could potentially lead to criminal consequences.
The federal government is very serious about prosecuting people for tax fraud, and while sometimes people do indeed engage in fraud, in other cases those who end up facing charges simply misunderstood the tax laws. For those in either camp, the repercussions can be severe. In the last three weeks alone, federal prosecutors in the Atlanta area have arrested or charged at least 10 people with tax refund fraud.
In one of the most recent cases, two Clayton County men are facing charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and a conspiracy to defraud the government. The men, ages 44 and 26, allegedly set up a website on which they tricked people to sign up for a bogus "Obama stimulus payment."
The two then allegedly used the personal information that people shared on the website to file as many as 15,000 false tax returns in 2011 and 2012, claiming more than $15 million in tax refunds.
The federal charges that these men face are very significant and it will be important that they seek legal counsel to protect their rights throughout the criminal process in order to obtain the most reasonable resolution possible.
While this case is of a very large scale, others may wind up with federal tax charges for reasons beyond their control. They might make mistakes by getting involved with a fraudulent tax company, such as the one alleged in this case, and it may look to prosecutors like they were trying to defraud the government themselves. Regardless of the situation that leads to federal fraud charges, defendants must take the charges very seriously. The first step to the most effective course of action is to seek an experienced white collar crimes defense attorney.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "2 charged with claiming $15M in bogus tax refunds," Joel Provano, Feb. 1, 2013
- Our criminal defense law firm in Atlanta handles cases like the one discussed here. We have experience in both state and federal fraud cases and more information about our services is available on our Fraud page.