Former tax clerk pleads guilty to tax evasion

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A former IRS employee has pleaded guilty to tax evasion after the IRS accused him of filing false tax returns and providing fabricated documents in an attempt to obstruct a tax audit.

Wayne M. Garvin, 57, of Columbia, South Carolina, was a longtime IRS employee who most recently worked as a supervising associate attorney at the Taxpayer Advocate Service in Philadelphia. Between 2012 and 2016, he prepared and filed individual returns on which he claimed false deductions and expenses associated with rental properties he owned, as well as fictitious property taxes on his personal residence and fabricated charitable contributions, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past the Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington, DC

Samuel Corum/Bloomberg

When he returned in 2013, he deducted nearly $16,000 in false expenses associated with his work with the US Army Reserves. But while Garvin was formerly a member of the Army Reserves, he did not perform any reserve duty in 2013 and was not entitled to deduct expenses related to that job, prosecutors say. Garvin admitted to causing a loss to the IRS of more than $74,000.

After the IRS began auditing Garvin’s tax returns in 2013 and 2014, he tried to obstruct the audit by submitting fictitious documents to the IRS, prosecutors say. To substantiate the deductions and expenses claimed on his returns, he created and submitted receipts from a church, invoices from a contractor and a letter from the military to IRS auditors, according to prosecutors. After discovering he was under criminal investigation, he then sent some of the same documents to the IRS Criminal Investigations Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 6. Garvin faces up to five years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.


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