North Las Vegas Man Pays Price for Fraudulent Tax Returns - 8 News NOW

North Las Vegas Man Pays Price for Fraudulent Tax Returns

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LAS VEGAS -- A federal judge sentenced a North Las Vegas man Thursday to serve four years in prison and pay $64,921 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for filing multiple false tax returns in the names of others, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.

Joseph Glendon Austin, 35, who was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks, pleaded guilty on Feb. 21 to one count of presenting a false claim to the United States and one count of aggravated identity theft.

"Knowingly using another person's identity without authority to steal tax refunds constitutes aggravated identity theft under federal law, and carries a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence to any other charge," Bogden said. "Identity theft is a serious and growing problem that we and our law enforcement partners will continue to address to ensure identity thieves are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

According to the guilty plea agreement, Austin obtained personal identifying information of clients of an unnamed tax preparer. On March 31, 2009, Austin unlawfully filed a tax return using the identifiers of a client of the tax preparer, but containing falsified income, withholding and other information.

The fraudulent return requested a refund of $4,147, which Austin admitted receiving. Austin then filed other false tax returns using the identifiers of other clients of the tax preparer. Austin also claimed refunds in the form of refund anticipation loans placed on debit cards. He admitted that no one gave him permission to use their identifying information.

The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Yang.

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