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Orange County Man Accused of $20 Billion Tax Fraud

Orange County tax fraud attorneys are monitoring the case of an Orange County man accused of filing false tax returns in which he claimed $20 billion in tax refunds. But that's not all: once accused, the man retaliated against judges, tax and financial authorities, Secret Service agents and federal prosecutors by filing false liens against them.

The man accused is Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao, age 28, of Rancho Santa Margarita and Las Vegas. He has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

In the matter of the false liens, Cao is charged with taking out twenty-two false liens against employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service. He also took out false liens against four federal judges.

In the underlying tax fraud case, what Cao allegedly did was attempt to procure tax refunds using a phony theory about a "secret U.S. treasury."

Cao had a business called Phoenix Financial Management Group in Lake Forest. He filed fraudulent forms with the IRS on behalf of six clients that prosecutors said "grossly overstate[d] his customers' income and withholding to get grossly inflated tax refund checks."

Cao used a theory that has been used before by tax defiers: the theory, known as "redemption" or "commercial redemption," claims that the U.S. Treasury keeps millions of dollars in a secret account for each taxpayer. The redemption theorists claim that the secret accounts can be used to pay taxpayers' debts or taxes if the taxpayer sends the IRS and banks certain documents.

Cao used the "redemption" theory to try to obtain fraudulent refunds. People attempting "redemption" methods have tried to claim $3.3 trillion in fraudulent refunds.

If convicted on the false refund claims and the false lien filings, Cao faces up to 223 years in prison and $5.75 million in fines.

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