The IRS issued a press release announcing that Carl Artis, a Lancaster man, pleaded guilty before Judge Wu (a fellow UChicago Law graduate) to tax charges. The full press release can be found by clicking here. Artis admitted to executing a scheme against the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”) to obtain unemployment insurance benefits. To obtain these benefits, Artis registered fictitious companies with the EDD, submitted false wage information for individual who didn’t work for the fictitious company, and then applied for the benefits in their names. The names, SSNs, and dates of birth were from people in prison and others. As stated by the press release:
According to the plea agreement filed in the case, from at least August 2010 to August 2014, while living in North Hollywood, Artis operated a scheme to defraud the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”) of unemployment insurance benefits. To execute the EDD fraud scheme, Artis registered fictitious companies with the EDD; submitted false wage information for individuals whom he falsely claimed worked for these companies; and then fraudulently applied for and obtained unemployment insurance benefits in the names of these individuals.
Artis also used others’ names and SSNs to engage in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, filing returns in those names and requesting fake refunds based on false W-2s. According to the press release:
For each of the fake taxpayers, Artis generated fictitious IRS Forms W-2 in the names of the fake taxpayers, falsely claiming the companies that he invented for the sole purpose of the fraud paid wage income to the fake taxpayers, and falsely claiming that taxes were withheld from the fictitious income in excess of the amount owed. Artis then caused false tax returns to be filed in the names of the fake taxpayers seeking a tax refund.
In total, from April 2011 to July 2013, Artis filed approximately 83 fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS, falsely claiming a total of $504,118 in tax refunds. The IRS paid out $99,520 in false claims before the scheme was discovered.