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Colorado Springs man sentenced to 7 years for tax fraud

White collar crimes often require a different criminal defense strategy than violent crimes. Defending against charges of fraud, identity theft or tax evasion requires a thorough understanding of the laws involved. With a clearer understanding of the alleged violations, a person is able to develop a stronger defense strategy and may be able to avoid a conviction or get a lesser sentence.

A Colorado Springs man was recently sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of filing a false claim with the Internal Revenue Service and aggravated identity theft. According to reports, the man used records containing personal information from College Consultant Group Inc. to make counterfeit government photo IDs. The records were taken after the business had closed.

The 52-year-old man used the personal information on the records to file false U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns and false Form 1040s. He also falsified wage and tax statements and made fake W-2s. The man apparently received $7,000 to $23,000 in fraudulent refunds from his false IRS filings. The man received a total of $275,000 from the IRS, $172,756 of which were fraudulent tax returns.

The man's case was listed on the IRS' Dirty Dozen Tax Scam list and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was also involved in the investigation. The man was sentenced on Feb. 18 and will serve 84 months in a federal prison and then have three additional years under supervised released. He must also pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $172,756.

Federal offenses can carry serious penalties in the event of a conviction, as seen in this case. It is unclear what kind of defense the man presented, but a criminal law attorney can help those facing similar charges understand all of their options.

Source: Colorado Springs Business Journal, "Heath receives sentence for identity theft, tax fraud" Marija B. Vader, Feb. 25, 2014

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