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Redmond man sentenced for filing false documents to claim more than $800,000 tax refund
A 69-year-old Redmond man who falsely claimed he was owed a tax refund of more than $800,000 was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court in Seattle to one year in prison and three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
Fred F. Frink was charged in September 2012 and pleaded guilty on March 13, 2013 to filing a false, fictitious and fraudulent claim. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said Frink “had many opportunities to pull the plug” on his fraud. The judge ordered Frink to report to prison on Sept. 24, 2013, giving him some time to be treated for a variety of health issues.
According to records in the case, in 2009, Frink hired a tax preparer to prepare his 2008 return. The tax preparer calculated the taxes and determined that Frink was owed a refund of $7,413. However, Frink failed to file that tax return and instead went to an H & R Block outlet and provided fake forms indicating that more than $1 million had been withheld on his behalf. H & R Block calculated his return using these bogus documents, determining that he was owed $827,117.
The IRS did not catch the fraud immediately, and Frink used the money for various transactions, including the purchase of a $48,000 car. Even after Frink was contacted by a Federal Revenue Agent, he continued to spend the money instead of returning it to the U.S. Treasury.
The scheme Frink used has been seen multiple times in the Western District of Washington and has resulted in significant prison terms.
“The IRS included 1099-OID fraud on its 'Dirty Dozen Tax Scams' for 2012. Although some scam participants are undeterrable, there are a number of people who will be deterred if they understand that their conduct could lead to serious penalties, including imprisonment,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Woods.