Ricky Lee Greenwood, 31, of Portland, Oregon, has been indictedon nine counts of wire fraud, nine counts of filing false claims for tax refunds, and eight countsof aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced. Greenwood made his initial appearance in court before U.S. Magistrate Janice Stewart , andentered a plea of not guilty. The defendant was released on pre-trial conditions and ordered toappear for trial on April 2, 2013.
According to the 26-count indictment, Greenwood electronically filed at least 66 false taxreturns with fictitious wage and false dependent information, requesting at least $300,000 infraudulent refunds. Greenwood is alleged to have obtained the names and Social Securitynumbers of unemployed individuals in order to file fraudulent tax returns in their names.
According to the indictment, Greenwood also obtained the social security numbers of childrenand claimed them on the tax returns of unrelated individuals to maximize refundable credits –such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit – and further inflatethe fraudulent refunds. In addition, according to the indictment, Greenwood had the fraudulentrefunds delivered to him or deposited into accounts that he controlled.An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant ispresumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Greenwood facesa maximum sentence of five years in prison for each false claims count, up to 20 yearsimprisonment for each wire fraud count, and a mandatory two-year sentence on the aggravatedidentity theft counts. If convicted, he could be subject to fines, mandatory restitution, and amoney judgment.
"Investigating refund fraud and identity theft is a top priority for IRS CriminalInvestigation," said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Be assured that we areserious about investigating these crimes and we will vigorously pursue the criminals who stealfrom the American taxpayer."
This case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Stolen Identity Refund Fraud TaskForce. Trial Attorneys Leslie A. Goemaat and Todd P. Kostyshak of the Justice Department's TaxDivision and Assistant U. S. Attorney Claire Fay are prosecuting the case.
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