Rochester man arrested and charged with submitting false claims to the IRS after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars

 

Date: April 15, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

ROCHESTER, NY — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Eugene Jamar Thomas of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by complaint with submitting false claims to the Internal Revenue Service. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, during the 2015 and 2016 tax years, the defendant falsely reported income and withholdings to the Internal Revenue Service, claiming to be entitled to millions of dollars in tax refunds. On his 2015 return, Thomas declared that he had earned $819,934 in interest income and that he had $818,834 of that income withheld and paid to the IRS as tax. As a result, the defendant's 2015 tax return falsely claimed that he was entitled to a refund of $495,655. The IRS ultimately issued Thomas a tax refund check for $482,017. The defendant then deposited the check into two bank accounts in his name, spending a portion of the refunds on two vehicles and cash withdrawals. Subsequently, the IRS determined that Thomas failed to submit all of the proper tax documents with his 2015 tax return, and as a result, the remaining funds in the defendant's bank accounts were frozen.

Thomas called the IRS hotline to inquire about why his bank accounts were frozen and was told that he was issued an erroneous refund and the bank was contacted to return the funds to the IRS. The defendant was then contacted by an IRS Revenue Officer to discuss the overstatement of income and withholdings that Thomas claimed on his 2015 tax return. The defendant was advised to file an amended 2015 tax return and repay the refund to which he was not entitled. Thomas never filed an amended 2015 tax return and never repaid any portion of the 2015 refund that he wrongfully received.

For the tax year 2016, the defendant again falsely reported income and withholdings to the IRS, claiming he had earned $4,731,845 of interest income in 2016 and had $4,683,641 of that income withheld and paid to the IRS as tax. As a result, Thomas falsely claimed that he was entitled to a refund of $2,683,945. The tax returned was flagged by the IRS and no refund was issued.

Thomas made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen and was released.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.