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Indictment for filing $313,228 tax refund

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POSTED November 17, 2013 11:13 p.m.

Apparently filing for a $313,248 tax refund when you’re not entitled to it is a no-no.

On Friday a Manteca couple were indicted on charges of tax-related and federal obstruction charges that included filing for returns to which they were not eligible, impeding federal tax laws and filing false liens against government officials.

Robert Eldon Robertson and Esther Lynn Robertson, both of Manteca, were named in an indictment that was unsealed Friday in the Eastern District Federal Court of California. According to the court filing, the couple filed false tax returns claiming abnormally large return amounts that were based on false Form 1099-OID withholding documents.

In 2005 the couple allegedly claimed they were owed just over $90,000 by the federal government and just over $313,000 in 2007. They also reportedly filed a false lien against the property of the IRS commissioner for “a sum certain amount determined as triple the stated amount of any purported determination of tax liability.”

The indictment also claims that the couple sent a bogus “international promissory note” with the request that the IRS apply the $800,000 face value of the note to outstanding tax liabilities, and that they sent a request with credit card bills asking that the IRS pay more than $20,000 worth of their debt.

If convicted the couple could face a maximum of five years in federal prison for each false claim count, three years for the obstruction count and 10 years for the filing a false lien count.

Charges came after an investigation by both the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. It is prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice in the Eastern District of California, which encompasses an area that stretches from Bakersfield to Redding and over into Yosemite National Park and South Lake Tahoe.

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