11th Circuit Affirms Conviction in Tax Fraud Case Under 18 U.S.C. section 286
On August 17, 2010, the 11th Circuit affirmed the conviction of the Defendant in the case of the United States of America v. Maritiza Valiente, docket # 09-14493.
The facts of the case were somewhat unique, and described by the Court as follows:
Valiente and her codefendants falsely claimed that certain individuals were entitled to income tax refunds based upon their employment at Valiente’s business in 1999. However, in reality, Valiente’s business never had any employees. Using falsified W-2 forms provided by Valientes company, one codefendant prepared and filed false IRS1040 Forms. During early 2000, the two other codefendants assisted in preparing and filing false 1040 Forms. All three codefendants then distributed the illegal proceeds of the federal income tax refunds.
This case is unusual in that the government charged the tax fraud under 18 U.S.C. section 286 (conspiracy to defraud the government in respect to claims); the entire section can be found here. Typically, the government charges individuals with tax evasion under 26 U.S.C. section 7201, found here, or as “Klein conspiracies” under 18 U.S.C. section 371, found here.
Ultimately, the Court found that there was sufficient evidence to support a conviction, and the judgment and sentence were both affirmed. The Eleventh Circuits entire opinion can be found here.
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