Man Claimed Millions in Fake Tax Returns, Feds Say

Ovidiu Isac and co-conspirators filed more than 200 false forms, authorities say

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    A Skokie man received more than $1.3 million in fraudulent federal tax refunds by filing more than 200 false forms in the names of Romanian nationals, prosecutors said.

    A Skokie man received more than $1.3 million in fraudulent federal tax refunds by filing more than 200 false forms in the names of Romanian nationals, prosecutors said.

    Ovidiu Isac faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on charges he participated in the conspiracy since March 2008.

    Authorities say that over the last two years, the 28-year old claimed more than $2.1 million in fraudulent federal income tax refunds.

    Isac and co-schemers allegedly shared the proceeds of refunds by withdrawing the tax funds deposited into co-schemers' bank accounts, knowing they were not entitled to the fraudulently obtained refunds, a statement from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office said.

    According to the complaint, unsealed Friday, the Internal Revenue Service Fraud Detection Center identified a scheme for the 2007 tax year involving about 251 tax returns filed electronically, claiming tax refunds totaling more than $1.48 million.

    All of the returns were based on false W-2s showing employment income and false deduction for moving expenses.

    The fraud center also found an identical scheme for the 2008 tax year involving approximately 127 false tax returns, claiming refunds totaling more than $640,000. The IRS has also flagged similar returns filed this year for the 2009 tax year, the release said.

    The charges rely on information from a cooperating witness, who told the FBI they participated in the scheme with Isac and others to obtain tax refunds and divide the cash, the release said.

    That cooperating witness kept 20 percent of the money, the account holder kept 10 percent and the cooperating witness gave Isac the remaining 70 percent, the release said.

    Bank records indicated none of the names or addresses on the bank accounts matched the names or addresses of the individuals named as taxpayers on the false tax returns, the release said.

    Agents also learned many people in and around Chicago held accounts at multiple banks and received these tax refunds over and over again, often on the same day.