OAKLAND – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Roger L. Wirth announced that Raymond Francis Hill, 59, formerly of Oakland and currently a resident of San Jose, was sentenced yesterday afternoon to serve 21 months in prison to be followed by 1 year of supervised release. He was also fined $3,000. Mr. Hill pleaded guilty on May 5, 2005, to one count of assisting and advising in the preparation and presentation of a false U.S. individual income tax return. Mr. Hill was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong.
Hill was indicted August 28, 2003, by a federal grand jury in Oakland in connection with a scheme to receive illegal refunds by submitting falsified tax returns to the IRS. He pleaded guilty on the morning of the second day of trial in Oakland. According to testimony at trial, Mr. Hill began performing tax preparation work in 1967, and started a hearing aid business in the 1980s. Starting in 1997, while operating his hearing aid business, the defendant prepared so-called “zero-returns” for taxpayers. Mr. Hill prepared these false returns knowing that the “zero” income which he reported was false because the W-2 forms attached to the returns reflected significant wages. He also knew the taxpayers would file the false returns with the IRS. The count of the indictment Mr. Hill pleaded guilty to involved a taxpayer whose true federal tax liability exceeded $91,000, based on a much higher income. Hill pleaded guilty in open court.
According to the testimony at trial, Mr. Hill purported to be a Certified Public Accountant and a former employee of the Internal Revenue Service, when, in fact, he had never been either. He is alleged to have made these false representations to people in order to persuade them to provide money to him to prepare tax returns and amended income tax returns.
As part of the plea agreement, Mr. Hill agreed that he be enjoined from preparing other individuals’ income tax returns for a period of 7 years. He is to begin serving his sentence March 24, 2006.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Thomas Moore is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Kathy Tat.