An Internal Revenue Service revenue officer has been indicted for committing mail and wire fraud, filing false tax returns, identity theft and perjury.
James Brewer, a 38-year-old Staten Island, N.Y., resident who works in the IRS’s Edison, N.J., office, was charged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a 28-count indictment that was unsealed Thursday. The charges include seven counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, three counts of subscribing to false federal tax returns, six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns, ten counts of aggravated identity theft, and perjury. Brewer was assigned to an IRS office in Edison, N.J. He was arrested in Las Vegas and is expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
According to the indictment, Brewer operated two outside businesses, contrary to IRS regulations. He prepared tax returns for others in exchange for fees, and he operated a business selling designer clothes, collectable toys, sports memorabilia, and other items on eBay
As part of a scheme to fraudulently reduce his taxable income and increase his tax refunds, Brewer allegedly failed to report any income he received for his unauthorized tax prep business. He also underreported the gross receipts earned from his Internet retail business, and claimed false dependents on federal tax returns he prepared and filed on his own behalf for three tax years.
Brewer also allegedly engaged in a multi-year scheme in which he prepared and filed false tax returns for others. In that business, Brewer listed false dependents and false deductions to fraudulently cause his clients to receive a refund to which they were otherwise not entitled or fraudulently inflate their refunds.
In doing so, Brewer listed the names and Social Security numbers of various people on the tax returns as dependents without their authorization. As part of this scheme, Brewer also diverted a portion of those clients’ refunds to himself, in some cases without his clients’ authorization or knowledge. Finally, in an effort to fraudulently obtain for himself a tax credit for first time homebuyers, Brewer lied under oath about his residency when he testified in a matter in the U.S. Tax Court in New York, New York.
“The crimes alleged in this indictment are very serious. While employed by the IRS to enforce our nation’s tax laws, it is alleged that James Brewer was himself breaking these laws,” said Jonathan D. Larsen, special agent-in-charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, in a statement. “Today’s indictment underscores our commitment to work in a collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels and to prosecute those who allegedly violate the public’s trust.”
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