On April 21, 2022, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan and defendant Steven Ernest Neuman, signed a plea agreement. Neuman agreed to plead guilty to providing false statements, attempted interference in association with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and bank fraud.
According to the court documents in 2017, Neuman filed a 2016 tax return for two taxpayers and falsely claimed tuition and fee deductions, when there were no associated expenses. Neuman also fabricated a deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses and claimed more in property taxes than the taxpayers paid. Neuman made these fraudulently entries without the taxpayers’ knowledge by filing the returns before providing them a copy for their review. He engaged in similar tax fraud for a total of 27 taxpayers. Between years 2012 and 2015, Neuman’s false returns resulted in a tax loss of $436,004.
Also, Neuman told the taxpayers he would resolve the audit of their taxes by negotiating an offer of compromise with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Upon failing to receive such an offer, the IRS sent letters demanding payment. To convince taxpayers of his communication with the IRS, Neuman fabricated a letter from the IRS that claimed the taxpayers had no outstanding tax debt. Neuman further devised a scheme to obtain money from financial institutions by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.
Neuman is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on May 17, 2022, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. At sentencing, Neuman could possibly receive over 30 years’ imprisonment and up to five years of supervised release. As part of the plea, Neuman agreed to pay $415,179 in restitution.
Source: The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: W.D. Mich., Plea Agr., filed April 21, 2022.