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Former Pocatello man pleads guilty to filing false IRS claims

A former Pocatello man faces up to 15 years in prison and up to a half million dollar fine after pleading guilty to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to file false claims for an IRS tax refund and making a false claim against the United States.

U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said Moses Mukuka,38, now of Dallas, entered the guilty pleas before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Pocatello Wednesday.

According to a plea agreement, Mukuka placed fliers around the Idaho State University campus advertising himself as an accounting student and offering to do income tax returns for a $10 fee. He was not an accounting student.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Mukuka received paperwork from students then sent the information out-of-state to another person to prepare the returns.The tax returns were submitted to the IRS with false information, including the number of dependents, claims as head-of-household, and other fictitious entries designed to increase the refund amount.

According to the plea agreement, Mukuka then distributed a small portion of the actual refund to the taxpayer, but failed to provide returns to them.

Mukaka admitted he was aware the tax returns were false and agreed to pay an undetermined amount of restitution to the IRS.

He will appear for sentencing Feb. 13 at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

The charge of conspiracy to file false claims for a refund is punishable by up to ten years in prison.The charge of making a false claim against the United States is punishable by up to five years. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $250 thousand and up to three years of supervised release.

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