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Bath Township Man Sent to Prison for Tax Offenses

Violating federal tax laws can mean stiff penalties, authorities warn

 

John W. Hufgard of Bath Township was sentenced in February to 18 months in prison for attempting to evade about $397,659 of his personal income tax liabilities for 2007 through 2009. 

The taxes were owed on unreported income Hufgard received from selling manufacturing racks to metal scrap dealers for cash, federal justice officials said.

Hufgard pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2012.

Several Ohioan have been found guilty and sentenced for violating federal tax laws over the past few months, according to Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

As the 2013 tax filing deadline approaches, Dettelbach said these cases serve as reminders that there are civil and sometimes criminal penalties to filing erroneous tax returns.

“Tax day is not fun, but the vast majority of Americans who properly report and pay their fair share need to know that we will aggressively prosecute those who shirk or flaunt their obligations,” Dettelbach said in a news release.

Details on some of the other cases over the past year:

Nelida I. Velasco of Chardon was sentenced last year to more than three years in prison for conspiracy to make false claims, making false claims, misuse of Social Security account numbers, and aggravated identity theft.  A co-defendant, David T. Tufts, also of Chardon, was previously sentenced to four years imprisonment.  Both pleaded guilty to the charges, which involved the filing of at least 35 false tax returns claiming at least $155,000 in false refund claims using stolen identification information of the 35 purported claimants.

Aesha Johnson of Beachwood was sentenced last year to 21 months in prison for making false income tax refund claims totaling approximately $84,244 for tax clients.

Steven R. Hinz, Heather L. English, Patricia A. Polk, and William E. Phillips, III were sentenced in earlier this year prison for conspiracy and making false claims for income tax refunds.  Led by Hinz, the conspiracy involved filing at least 17 false tax returns claiming refunds totaling more than $3 million based on fictitious amounts of tax withholdings under the so-called “OID process.”  All four defendants pleaded guilty in October 2012. Hinz, formerly of Youngstown, was sentenced to nine years in prison, while English was sentenced to 2 1/2 years.

Brandon M. Mace of Canton pleaded guilty in February to two counts of making false claims for income tax funds totaling nearly $5.5 million. Mace prepared and filed false tax returns containing those claims while incarcerated in Ohio on state charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

 

 

 

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