Most folks dread having to file their taxes, however not Damian Barrett, authorities say.
Over a four-year interval, the Florida man filed 745 tax returns in 19 completely different states, in response to the IRS. The payoff: $235,000 in tax refunds he wasn’t entitled to.
Barrett, 40, who pleaded responsible in July to mail fraud, identification theft and submitting false tax returns, was sentenced this week to 4 ½ years in federal jail, in response to prosecutors in Oregon, the place he had filed 348 returns alone.
“I found a flaw in your system, and I took advantage of it,” Barrett was quoted in court docket paperwork as telling investigators.
A message left with Barrett’s lawyer wasn’t instantly returned.
“‘Executing the fraud scheme appears to have been the defendant’s day-to-day job.‘”
Prosecutors say Barrett ran two tax preparation companies in Homestead, Fla. — one authentic, known as Max Tax Experts, LLC, and the opposite, Winngate Tax Services, LLC, not.
From January 2015 till December 2018, prosecutors say Barrett took private info together with full names, Social Security numbers and employer identification numbers from purchasers of his authentic enterprise, and used them to file phony returns by means of his second firm.
Prosecutors say Barrett would steer refunds into dozens of financial institution accounts he managed — 70 of which he had opened within the names of his unwitting purchasers.
“The nature and circumstances of the offense show that the success of the defendant’s scheme was by design. It was well-researched, planned, and executed,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Executing the fraud scheme appears to have been the defendant’s day-to-day job.”
In all, prosecutors say Barrett filed 745 tax returns requesting round $900,000 in refunds. Collectively, he was granted $235,000 in refunds earlier than he was caught.
“Mr. Barrett used his specialized knowledge as a tax preparer to obtain false refunds at the cost of honest taxpayers all over the United States. Today’s sentence is a victory for those of us who have been victims of a sophisticated tax refund scheme,” mentioned IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Bret Kressin.
In addition to his fraud scheme, Barrett additionally deliberately excluded $21,000 in revenue from his personal tax returns in 2016 after which didn’t file taxes in any respect in 2017, prosecutors mentioned..
Barrett has additionally been ordered to pay $234,000 in restitution to the departments of income in 11 states and $74,000 to the IRS.