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Sarasota residents admit to tax scam

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  • | 1:48 p.m. April 23, 2014
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TAMPA — Sarasota County residents James Dee Jaeger and Lora Anne Jaeger admitted to their roles in a tax scam that authorities say initially involved 15 fraudulent tax returns that sought $2.58 million in refunds.

James Dee Jaeger, 62, and Lora Anne Jaeger, 50, both of North Port, each pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false claim for tax refund, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office. Each defendant faces up to five years in federal prison.

The Jaegers were initially charged with an additional seven counts of causing false and fraudulent claims for tax refunds filed with the IRS. In the plea agreement, each defendant admitted to jointly filing a federal income tax return with the IRS that falsely claimed a $344,672 refund.

The U.S. Attorney's office says the false refund “was based on a bogus theory that the U.S. banking system maintains 'Remic Trust' accounts for U.S. citizens and that taxpayers can gain access to the accounts by issuing 1099-OID forms to the IRS.” Under this theory, say prosecutors, the taxpayer files a false form to justify a bogus refund claim on a corresponding tax return. In this case, the IRS didn't issue the fraudulent tax refund claimed by the Jaegers.

The Jaegers, according to the original indictment, also devised and participated in a scheme to help “taxpayers,” including themselves, obtain fraudulent tax refunds. The scheme, authorities contended in a December statement, was premised upon the redemption theory. That's a fraudulent notion that individuals aren't responsible for common personal debt obligations like home mortgages, unpaid credit card bills and lines of credit, and may instead seek money from the IRS to repay these outstanding obligations. The couple sought a total of $2.58 million in refunds in those claims, authorities say.


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