An IRS employee has been charged with skimming money off tax refunds through an elaborate scheme by which the employee encouraged clients to file bogus Residential Energy Credits, Historic City News reports.
The residential energy credits on Form 5695 were allegedly over-inflated, resulting in excessive refunds to which the individuals were not entitled. Charles Corbitt, the accused IRS employee in West Palm Beach, Florida, filed tax returns for clients while he was still employed at the IRS. After falsifying energy credits and obtaining lower tax liabilities for his clients, he apparently took a portion directly from tax refunds as a tax preparation fee.
The indictment detailed an example where Corbitt once secured a $6,029 tax refund for a woman when he marked down that she had made energy efficient improvements to her home. Despite no actual improvements being made, Corbitt collected a $300 fee, which was placed in the bank account of his former girlfriend. Corbitt would often calculate the preparation fee based on a flat rate or in proportion to the size of the refund.
Currently investigating the matter is the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced the charges on Wednesday and stated that Assistant United States Attorney Malisa Chokshi will be named as the prosecutor.
If convicted of the wire fraud charge, 36-year-old Corbitt could face up to a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.