Tax Rebates & Refunds

Chicago court sentences man over tax rebate fraud scheme

November 22, 2012
Posted in Tax Rebates — Written by Chris

A court in the U.S. city of Chicago has reportedly sentenced a Barbados national to 114 months in prison over false and illegal tax rebate claims he filed in the city.

Andrew J. Watts was accused of filing false federal income tax returns between 2007 and 2011, using identity fraud to claim money that didn’t belong to him. Mr Watts is understood to have used the names of deceased taxpayers to claim tax refunds, either listing himself as the representative of the deceased person or signing tax returns with the deceased person’s name.

During the four-year period, Mr Watts filed more than 470 of these false tax returns and is believed to have filed tax rebate claims of more than $120 million. Although all of his claims were not successful, Mr Watts still managed to receive tax refunds of more than $10 million from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Commenting on the decision to sentence Mr Watts to 114 months in jail, as well as ordering him to pay restitution of $1.7 million, was the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. Kathryn Keneally said:

“While all taxpayers are victims when criminals file false tax returns using stolen identities, those who falsely use the names of deceased individuals add to the grief and burdens of their families,”

“We will prosecute and seek just punishment against those who seek to commit these crimes.”

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