On Friday, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that a man from Sacramento, California had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing fraudulent tax returns. 39-year-old Arsen Muhtarov pleaded guilty on Friday. Court document show that 34-year-old Aleksandr Kuzmenko of Loomis served as a tax preparer at VK Tax Services in Citrus Heights. Muhtarov allegedly conspired with Kuzmenko, 39-year-old Petr Kuzmenko of West Sacramento and 45-year-old Valeriy Nikitchuk of Kent, Washington to defraud the United States.
Between February 2009 and November 2009, the group filed roughly 90 fraudulent tax returns using stolen identification information and fictitious addresses. The tax returns claimed the First Time Home Buyer Credits, despite the filers not being entitled to it. As a result, the fraudulent refunds were electronically deposited into bank accounts that were controlled by the defendants.
Then, the funds were withdrawn and spent. The group claimed more than $695,000 in fraudulent refunds. The IRS paid roughly $573,000. Petr Kuzmenko was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. Aleksandr Kuzmenko was sentenced to more than two years in prison. Valeriy Nikitchuk was sentenced to ten months in prison.
Arsen Muhtarov is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1, 2018. The defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Additional details have been made available here.