A Los Angeles County worker was arrested this week for tax fraud. Trang Van Dinh, 62, allegedly used personal information of welfare applicants to fraudulently file for almost $2 million in tax refunds.
Orange County tax fraud attorneys and tax fraud attorneys across California noted that Mr. Dinh apparently embarked on a scheme as a desperate attempt to pay gambling debts.
Mr. Dinh left the country and went to Vietnam before he was indicted. The indictment took place two months ago. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela J. Davis said, “The bottom line is that he left the country before he was charged, and we really don’t have the ability to stop a person from leaving the country simply because they are suspected of fraudulent activity.”
She also said that, “The government absolutely prioritized the case.”
Mr. Dinh returned to the U.S. on Monday and was arrested. He faces…
Eleven counts of making false claims to the Internal Revenue Service, and
Eleven counts of identity theft.
Mr. Dinh was fired from his county job after admitting wrongdoing during an interview with county investigators.
According to the chief investigator for the county, Guy Zelinski, “[Mr. Dinh] thought he could pay the IRS back and he would have no problems.” Unfortunately for Mr. Dinh, the IRS does not see these cases as merely a deficit for which they wish to be reimbursed.
The IRS found that he used Social Security numbers and other personal information of over 150 people in order to prepare fraudulent tax returns. He filed the returns electronically and requested that refunds be sent to bank accounts that he controlled.
- Source: Los Angeles Times “Fired L.A. County worker arrested in tax fraud case” June 9, 2010