New York man charged with filing false tax returns seeking multimillion-dollar refunds

 

Date: October 30, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Jonathan D. Larsen, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation ("IRS-CI"), announced that Janeen Walker was arrested yesterday in Manhattan, and charged with making a false claim, subscribing to false tax returns, and theft of government funds in connection with Walker's repeated filing of false tax returns claiming multimillion-dollar tax refunds based on fictitious income and withholdings. Walker will be presented today before United States Magistrate Judge Ona Wang.

IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen said: "Identifying refund fraud schemes is a priority for IRS-Criminal Investigation. I want honest taxpayers to know that we are committed to holding those accountable that choose to defraud the government. Mr. Walker's allegedly false claims for millions of dollars in fraudulent refunds should be considered an attack on the tax system and the general public who believe in it and follow the rules, and we take these allegations very seriously."

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: "As alleged, Jameen Walker filed multiple false tax returns, both corporate and individual, ultimately defrauding the IRS out of nearly $7 million. Now he will have to answer for his alleged crimes.

According to the allegations in the Indictment[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Between 2016 and 2018, Walker repeatedly filed tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") falsely claiming that a corporation he controlled had paid him millions of dollars and withheld millions of dollars in federal taxes. Walker then fraudulently sought large federal tax refunds based on those claims.

In 2016, Walker filed multiple Forms 1040 ("U.S. Individual Income Tax Return") falsely claiming that Stallings Empire Corporation paid him $19.7 million, of which $14.6 million had been withheld. In fact, Stallings Empire Corporation did not withhold or pay any money in federal taxes on behalf of Walker or any other employee. Nevertheless, based on the false claims in his Forms 1040, Walker sought a federal tax refund of more than $6.8 million.

Though the IRS did not issue that refund, Walker continued to file fraudulent returns. In 2018 and 2019, Walker filed multiple false Forms 941 ("Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return") and 941-X ("Adjusted Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund") for Stallings Empire Corporation for tax year 2018. In each, Walker falsely claimed that Stallings Empire Corporation had paid millions of dollars and withheld commensurately large amounts. In early 2019, Walker filed a Form 1040 for tax year 2018, claiming more than $16 million in income, $12.2 million in withholdings, and seeking a multimillion-dollar refund. Based on this false tax return, the IRS ultimately issued a tax refund check to Walker for more than $6.9 million. In August 2019, Walker deposited that refund check at a bank in the Bronx, New York, and proceeded to withdraw and spend in excess of $85,000 before the bank restricted his account.

Walker of New York, New York, is charged with one count of making a false claim, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three counts of subscribing to a false tax return, each of which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, and one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

IRS-CI and the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York investigated this case.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office's Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Reilly and Dina McLeod are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.