ATHENS, Ga. (WRBL) – A federal jury convicted a Lilburn, Georgia, man of filing fraudulent tax returns amounting to nearly $165 million in the name of several fake trusts.
Marquet Antwain Burgess Mattox, 49, was found guilty of nine counts of wire fraud, ten counts of false claims against the U.S. Government and one count of theft of government funds by a federal jury on Wednesday, August 18, following a three-day trial that began on Monday, August 16.
Mattox faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud counts, five years on the false claims counts and ten years on the theft of government funds count. Mattox also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, monetary penalties and forfeiture.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, between 2016 and 2018, Mattox filed at least 30 fraudulent federal income tax returns in the name of at least 11 different trusts. Those returns falsely represented that the trusts had earned interest income and that federal income taxes had been withheld and paid to the IRS.
Mattox then fraudulently requested refunds on behalf of the purported trusts totaling nearly $165 million. The IRS paid approximately $5 million of the requested refunds, which Mattox used to purchase a house, expensive furniture and a luxury automobile.
“Mattox intentionally manipulated the tax system for personal benefit,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey in a news release.
“Mattox brazenly filed enormous fraudulent tax returns on made-up trusts—a criminal act that ultimately amounts to attempted theft, pure and simple,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.
The case was investigated by IRS-CI’s Atlanta Division and Office of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigated the case.