Victoria man charged with filing false tax returns seeking over $4m in refunds


Date: April 5, 2024


Corpus Christi, TX — A Victoria resident has been indicted on 15-counts for making a false claim and subscribing to false tax returns based on a fictitious income and withholdings, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

David Gauna appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Julie K. Hampton at 10 a.m.

The indictment alleges in 2019, Gauna falsely claimed on his income tax return for estates and trusts (Form 1041) that his trust had received $620,891 in interest income, which had been withheld and paid to the government. At the time of filing, he allegedly knew the return was incorrect and untrue.

The indictment further alleges in 2020, Gauna filed another Form 1041, claiming his trust was owed a tax refund of $3,346,693. Later that year, he allegedly assisted in filing 13 additional 1041 forms, requesting refunds totaling $4,960,434, all of which he knew were fraudulent.

If convicted, Gauna faces up to three years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine for subscribing to a false tax return as well as up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine for each of the 14 counts of making false claims against the United States.

IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney John Marck is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.