A federal grand jury in Las Vegas, Nevada returned an indictment charging three individuals with stealing more than $1 million in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada.
The indictment charges Chanh V. Trinh, Cannedy Trinh, and Elizabeth Trinh with conspiring to file fraudulent claims for tax refunds and theft of government funds. Chanh V. Trinh is also charged with filing false claims for tax refunds, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Chanh V. Trinh, Cannedy Trinh, and Elizabeth Trinh were residents of Las Vegas, who allegedly conspired to file federal corporate and individual income tax returns reporting fake income and income tax withholdings and as a result, obtained more than $1 million in refunds to which they were not entitled. The indictment alleges that the fraudulent returns were filed in the names of the defendants and others, including a long-deceased family member and fictitious businesses. Months after filing a fraudulent return, the defendants would allegedly file a fraudulent amended return requesting an additional refund. The indictment alleges that Chanh V. Trinh prepared and filed the returns, and that all three defendants deposited or cashed the fraudulently obtained refund checks using multiple bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and check-cashing businesses in Las Vegas. The indictment alleges that the defendants frequently concealed the funds by purchasing cashier’s checks to obtain gambling chips at casinos.
If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the conspiracy count and each of the theft of government funds counts. Chanh V. Trinh also faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the mail fraud counts, five years in prison for each of the false claims counts and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for each of the aggravated identity theft counts. The defendants also face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Myhre thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Thomas W. Flynn and Eric C. Schmale of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.