Toronto gambler sentenced for falsifying income tax returns


Date: January 23, 2023


A Canadian national was sentenced in federal court here Friday to serve 30 months in prison and pay $1,771,011.67 in restitution for making false statements on income tax returns.

According to court documents, William Henry Woo, of Toronto submitted duplicate and inflated refund requests to the IRS Service Center in Austin as a Canadian citizen seeking automatically withheld gambling winnings. In doing so, he defrauded the U.S. Department of Treasury of nearly $1.8 million in tax refund money from 2006 to 2010. Woo pleaded guilty to two counts of the nine-count indictment brought against him in October 2022.

"Mr. Woo, who admitted his addiction to gambling, lost his biggest bet," said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. "He got caught on his gamble that he could cheat the U.S. government on his taxes. I appreciate the work of IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) to investigate Mr. Woo's deceitful conduct, allowing our system to deliver justice."

"Fraud schemes against the IRS will not be tolerated, as stealing from the Nation's treasury is stealing from every American, and Woo's sentencing today concretely shows the severity of his crime," said Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS CI's Houston Field Office. "As the 2023 filing season begins, IRS-CI Special Agents remain committed to investigating, quickly stopping, and recommending for criminal prosecution all frauds against the IRS including abusive tax schemes, return preparer fraud, and stolen identity refund fraud."

IRS CI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Castillo prosecuted the case.