DENVER - One of the founders of an accounting business has pleaded guilty to using the identities of dead people in a $1.8 million tax fraud.
Thomas William Quintin, 65, formerly of Denver, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to tax claims and one count of misuse of a social security number.
According to the Department of Justice, Quintin and a co-conspirator were indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 8. Together, the pair had founded a business known as Total Tax Services or Total Tax and Accounting in Englewood.
Referencing the plea agreement, the DOJ said Quintin admitted to using the business and its employees to prepare false federal income tax returns from July 2009 to October 2009. The returns claimed a total of $1,834,011 in refunds for deceased people.
The business hired at least one person to create email accounts for the dead people because those addresses were necessary to file tax returns online. They also obtained employer identification numbers for several businesses, which were used to claim the dead people had worked and paid taxes during 2008.
The names, dates of birth and social security numbers were found in an online database, the DOJ said.
When he is sentenced on April 2, Quintin faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge and five years on the misuse of a social security numbe charge. On both charges, he faces a fine of up to $250,000.
"Identity theft creates a significant hardship for many American families, and robs our Nation of taxpayer dollars," IRS chief of criminal investigation Richard Weber said in a quote supplied by the DOJ.