IRS-CI counts the 10 best cases of 2021

Cases include tax evasion, Ponzi schemes, COVID fraud, cybercrimes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS-CI) criminal investigation began tallying the top 10 cases for the 2021 calendar year on its Twitter counts January 3. These cases include the agency’s largest and most high-profile investigations in 2021.

“The 2021 investigative work has all the makings of a made-for-TV movie – embezzlement from a nonprofit, a family fraud ring that has stolen millions in COVID relief funds and a Billion dollar Ponzi scheme used to buy sports teams and luxury vehicles. But this is real life and I am grateful to our IRS-CI agents for following these leads and ensuring that the perpetrators are prosecuted for their crimes, ”said the head of the IRS-CI, Jim Lee.

The top 10 IRS-CI cases of 2021 include:

ten. Albuquerque couple sentenced to federal prison in Ayudando Guardians case Susan Harris and William Harris were sentenced to 47 and 15 years in federal prison, respectively. They stole funds from Ayudando Guardians Inc., a nonprofit organization that provided guardianship, guardianship and financial management to hundreds of people with special needs.

9. Rochester man goes to jail and ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution for his role in Ponzi scheme that defrauded millions of dollars from investorsJohn Piccarreto Jr. was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution totaling $ 19,842,613.66 after being convicted of conspiring to commit mail fraud and file false income tax returns. He conspired with others to get money through a Ponzi investment fraud scheme.

8. Orlando sisters convicted of $ 25 million tax evasion schemePetra Gomez and her co-conspirator, her sister, Jakeline Lumucso, were sentenced to eight and four years in federal prison respectively. They operated a tax return preparation business with five locations in central Florida that filed over 16,000 false tax returns for clients from 2012 to 2016, with an estimated total loss to the IRS of $ 25 million. of dollars.

seven. Russian bank founder convicted of tax evasion after renouncing US citizenship Oleg Tinkov, aka Oleg Tinkoff, was ordered to pay more than $ 248 million in taxes and sentenced to jail and one year on probation after renouncing his US citizenship in an attempt to cover up important stock gains that were reportable to the IRS after the company he founded became a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company.

6. Ontarian who ran multimillion-dollar unlicensed bitcoin exchange sentenced to 3 years in federal prison Hugo Sergio Mejia was sentenced to three years in federal prison and had to give up all assets derived from running an unlicensed business that traded at least $ 13 million in Bitcoin and cash, and vice versa, often against drug traffickers. He charged commissions for transactions and set up separate companies to hide his real business.

5. Bitcoin exchange owner sentenced to jail for money launderingRossen G. Iossifov, a Bulgarian national, was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison for participating in a scheme in which popular online auction and sales websites – such as Craigslist and eBay – falsely advertised goods expensive (usually vehicles) that did not exist. Once the victims sent payment for the goods, the conspiracy embarked on a complicated money laundering program in which associates based in the United States would accept funds from the victims, convert those funds into cryptocurrency, and would transfer the cryptocurrency to overseas-based money launderers.

4. Former Orange County Church Pastor Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison for Orchestrating $ 33 Million Scam That Defrauded InvestorsKent RE Whitney, the former pastor of the Church of the Health Self, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $ 22.66 million in restitution to victims after defrauding $ 33 million investors in organizing a church-based investment scam. Under his leadership, church officials have appeared on television and in live seminars to make false and misleading statements to induce investors to invest in religious entities. Victims sent over $ 33 million to church and received fabricated monthly statements reassuring them that their funds had been invested, when in reality little or no money had ever been.

3. Prairie village man sentenced to 12 years for $ 7.3 million payday loan fraud and $ 8 million tax evasionJoel Tucker was sentenced to 12 years and six months in federal prison and ordered to pay over $ 8 million in restitution to the IRS after he sold false information or fictitious debts to payday loan companies and failed have not filed federal income tax returns – for himself or his businesses – with the IRS for several years.

2. DC Solar owner sentenced to 30 years in prison for billion dollar ponzi schemeCalifornia-based DC Solar owner Jeff Carpoff was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison and confiscated $ 120 million in assets from the US government for victim restitution after he created a Ponzi scheme involving the sale thousands of mobile solar generators manufactured. units (MSG) that did not exist. He committed account and rental income fraud and purchased a sports team, luxury vehicles, real estate and a NASCAR team with the proceeds.

1. San Fernando Valley family members sentenced to years in prison for fraudulently obtaining tens of millions of dollars in COVID reliefThe Ayvazyan family were sentenced to terms ranging from 17.5 years in prison to 10 months probation for offenses ranging from bank and electronic fraud to aggravated identity theft. The family used stolen and fictitious identities to submit 150 fraudulent requests for COVID aid funds based on fake payroll records and tax documents to the Small Business Administration, then used the funds received to buy homes luxury, gold coins, designer jewelry handbags and Suite. Richard Ayvazyan and his wife Terabelian cut off their ankle monitors and fled before their sentencing hearing; they are currently fugitives.

Follow the IRS-CI on Twitter @IRS_CI to learn more.

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