Cape man pleads guilty to tax refund scam

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Cape Girardeau man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to soliciting fraudulent tax refunds.

Darnell Moon, 30, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau to five felony counts of mail fraud and one felony count of wire fraud, federal prosecutors said in a news release Thursday.

Moon, who appeared in federal court before U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig, solicited about $406,000 in fraudulent federal tax refunds over a three-year period, according to court documents.

He admitted he solicited individuals to pose as employees of nonexistent companies for the purpose of filing false tax returns and claiming fraudulent refunds, prosecutors said.

Moon created false W-2 forms, according to the release.

Moon then would file or help the individual file a fraudulent tax return, prosecutors said. Moon also falsely identified dependents for the individuals and also fraudulently claimed some of those dependents as qualifying children to obtain earned income credit, the release said.

The fraudulent tax refunds were split between Moon and the individuals who filed the returns, prosecutors said.

The judge set sentencing for May 23. Moon faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison on each count and fines up to $250,000.

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