IRS CI Continues to Target Pandemic-Related Fraud
With some cities reinstating mask requirements and the federal government extending the mask mandate for public transportation, the COVID-pandemic has gained renewed attention in recent weeks. But, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CI) has maintained its focus on the pandemic all along. IRS CI is continuing to target individuals and businesses suspected of pandemic-related fraud, and it has announced several charges and guilty pleas over the past few months. Here, Washington D.C. tax lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, discusses some of the most recent examples.
25 Individuals Sentenced in COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits Fraud Scheme
On April 13, 2022, IRS CI announced the sentencing of 25 individuals accused of perpetrating a pandemic unemployment benefits fraud scheme that resulted in the payment of at least $499,000 in unentitled benefits. The investigation was led by IRS CI’s Washington D.C. Field Office, among others. According to the division, the individuals submitted at least 37 fraudulent applications, including applications submitted on behalf of children who were ineligible to receive benefits.
IRS CI Secures Guilty Plea in $43.8 Million PPP Fraud Scheme
On April 6, 2022, IRS CI announced the guilty plea of an individual who was charged with perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain $43.8 million under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to IRS CI, the individual conspired to submit at least 153 fraudulent PPP loan applications in 2020 and 2021 and admitted to submitting falsified federal tax filings and other documents in support of the fraudulent applications.
Individual Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Submitting Two Fraudulent PPP Applications
Also on April 6, 2022, IRS CI announced the sentencing of an individual who was found guilty of submitting falsified documents in support of two fraudulent PPP loan applications. The individual received one PPP loan in the amount of $312,000, but the second loan was not disbursed. According to IRS CI, the individual used falsified documents to represent that he owned a company with 26 employees and monthly payroll expenses totaling $124,800, when in fact the company had no employees and was not in business.
Individual Charged with Submitting Falsified Tax Records In Support of Fraudulent COVID-19 Relief Loan Applications
On March 30, 2022, IRS CI announced charges against an individual accused of submitting fraudulent applications for SBA-guaranteed COVID-19 relief loans. The individual is also accused of receiving kickbacks in exchange for filing fraudulent loan applications for others. According to IRS CI, the individual “digitally altered personal bank statements, business bank account records, and tax records” before submitting them to lenders.
Physician Sentenced for Fraudulently Obtaining $3.7 Million in PPP and EIDLP Loans
On March 18, 2022, IRS CI announced that a physician had been sentenced to 51 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining approximately $3.7 million in loans under the PPP and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDLP). According to IRS CI, the physician used the funds for “extravagant personal purchases and other impermissible purposes,” including satisfying more than $1 million in personal judgments and leasing luxury cars.
Contact Washington D.C. Tax Lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group
Washington D.C. tax lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, represents individuals and businesses in criminal tax fraud matters. If you need experienced defense counsel for a pandemic-related IRS CI investigation, call 202-349-4033, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us online to arrange a confidential consultation.