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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Arkansas Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Tax Fraud



A Springdale, Arkansas, man was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for multiple tax crimes, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge of the Western District of Arkansas.

Doyle Smith, 56, was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $5000 fine.  On Feb. 11, following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas, a jury found Smith guilty of four counts of filing a false tax return, one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws and one count of presenting a fictitious financial obligation.

According to evidence introduced at trial, in 2008 and 2009, Smith submitted four false individual federal tax returns for tax years 2005 through 2008, which falsely reported a total of more than $1.4 million in fictitious federal tax withholdings.  Based on these fictitious withholding amounts, Smith claimed a total of $1,021,457 in income tax refunds that he was not entitled to receive.  Smith also submitted false claims and correspondence to both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and third-parties in an attempt to cause the IRS and U.S. Treasury to pay his debts to third parties and to obstruct the IRS’ tax administration efforts.  For example, in January 2010, Smith mailed to the Department of Arkansas Finance and Administration a fictitious financial instrument titled “U.S. Treasury Trust Account Money Order.”  This fictitious document purportedly obligated U.S. Treasury funds in the amount of $129,439 to pay for outstanding sales taxes that Smith owed to the state of Arkansas.

“Individuals like Doyle Smith, who commit criminal tax offenses and attempt to use the U.S. Treasury as their personal slush fund, will be identified, investigated, prosecuted and incarcerated,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo.  “The message from today’s sentencing is clear: those who attempt to cheat the system will pay a heavy price for their criminal conduct.”

“Smith, in his fraudulent scheme, attempted to steal taxpayer money from the U.S. Treasury for his own benefit,” said U.S. Attorney Eldridge.  “Those who steal from the U.S. Treasury steal directly out of the pockets of the hard-working people of the Western District of Arkansas.  With today’s sentence, a strong message has been sent that our office and our law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue fraud wherever we find it.”

“Today’s sentencing is a reminder of the penalties individuals face when submitting false claims for federal income tax refunds,” stated Special Agent in Charge Christopher A. Henry of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI).  “IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who use fraudulent methods in an attempt to corrupt our nation’s tax system, and our unwavering commitment to protecting the interests of law-abiding taxpayers.”

“It is the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s mission to protect the integrity of the Internal Revenue Service and promote the fair administration of our federal tax system,” said Special Agent in Charge Ruben Florez of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA’s) Mid-States Field Division.  “TIGTA and its law-enforcement partners will vigorously investigate individuals that attempt to corruptly interfere with the administration of the internal revenue laws through fraudulent means, and will do everything within its power to ensure that those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Today’s sentencing demonstrates that our justice system will not tolerate these types of actions.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Eldridge commended the special agents of IRS-CI and TIGTA, who investigated the case, as well as Trial Attorneys Robert Kemins and David Zisserson of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

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