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An Oregon resident pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false claims, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Lawrence Collins conspired with others to file false tax returns that claimed more than $400,000 in fraudulent refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). From 2009 through 2014, Collins obtained names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth from other persons, including from inmates from a state penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, and provided that information to co-conspirators who used this information to seek fraudulent refunds from the IRS. Collins also provided bank account information and third-party mailing addresses for use on the returns in order to direct receipt of the fraudulent refunds. Once the refunds were received from the IRS, Collins divided the funds among the co-conspirators. 

U.S. Chief Judge Marco A. Hernandez scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14, 2020. At sentencing, Collins faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. Collins also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Stephen K. Moulton and Leslie A. Goemaat, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.

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Source:Department of Justice

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