Los Angeles, CA – LAWFUEL – Tax Law News – Law Jobs – A federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned a 10 count indictment this afternoon charging Kenneth Steve John with violations allegedly committed in a fraud scheme involving fictitious gambling earnings, false claims, and identity theft. John has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims as well as making false claims against the United States, theft of government money, aggravated identity theft, and causing these acts to be done.
According to information contained in the indictment, beginning in January 2005 and continuing into March 2006, Kenneth John (a.k.a. Dennis Steve John, a.k.a. Robbin Michael Tucker) caused the preparation of federal income tax returns in the names of his aliases and in the names of identity theft victims on which John reported fictitious gambling winnings and withholding amounts. The gambling winnings John detailed on the false tax returns were purportedly from various horse racing tracks in the southern California area. John and his co-conspirators filed these returns with the Internal Revenue Service, claiming fraudulent refunds of at least $386,782. These false claims caused the government to issue U.S. Treasury refund checks totaling $219,129.
Both John and his co-conspirators allegedly obtained identification in names other than their own to facilitate cashing the U.S. Treasury checks. At least one of the names they used in the scheme belongs to an unwitting victim while another name is that of a deceased person. Additionally, John and his co-conspirators caused monies to be moved through several bank accounts belonging to other individuals. Some of these individuals, through whose bank accounts money was moved, received fees for assisting with the scheme by cashing checks and moving funds.
IRS – Criminal Investigation Special Agents arrested Kenneth Steve John on December 7, 2006 at his home in Stevenson Ranch and executed a search warrant there. Agents also executed a search warrant at the Tarzana residence of an unindicted co-conspirator, searching for evidence of the alleged crimes. The following week, the court ordered the seizure of funds believed to be tied directly to the negotiated tax refund checks which John and others are accused of obtaining illegally from the government. Kenneth John has been held without bail since his arrest.
In connection with the investigation, California Department of Motor Vehicles Investigators arrested John’s wife, Nora Elsa John, and daughter, Marie John, on perjury charges. The perjury charges stem from John’s wife and daughter obtaining California Identification Cards in names other than those of their true identities.
“Individuals who couple the filing of false tax returns with identity theft pose a serious problem to the taxpaying public,” stated Debra D. King, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation. “This is stealing from the government, often using innocent persons’ names. IRS Special Agents will continue to investigate these fraudulent schemes in order to protect the integrity of our system of tax administration and to deter those who compromise the privacy rights of citizens.”
The charges that John faces in this indictment carry a possible combined maximum penalty of 67 years in federal prison.
This indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation with assistance from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
An indictment is a charging document which contains allegations of violations committed by defendants. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty before the court.