A Rancho Santa Margarita man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas, where he also lives, for allegedly filing 22 false liens ranging from $25 million to $300 million against four federal judges and employees of the IRS, Secret Service, Securities and
Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of California.
Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao, 28, is also accused of filing false tax returns that claim fraudulent refunds totaling
$20 billion and preparing at least five false tax returns
for others that sought refunds totaling more than $1.1 million.
Cao, whose business was Phoenix Financial Management Group in Lake
Forest, was charged in another case last year with trying to get tax
refunds using a theory about a “secret treasury” that prosecutors called
“complete fiction,” the Orange
County Register reports.
That theory holds the U.S. Treasury keeps
millions in a secret treasury
account for each taxpayer, and that the taxpayer can tap into it to pay
debts and tax liabilities if certain documents are sent to the IRS and
Several people besides Cao have tried out the theory in an attempt to
get $3.3 trillion in fraudulent
refunds, the Register reports.
If convicted of the latest charges, Cao could get 223 years in the federal pen and a $5.75
The Department of Justice statement on the indictment follows:
July 21, 2010
California Man Indicted in Las Vegas for
Filing False Liens Against Federal Employees & Filing False Tax
WASHINGTON – A Las Vegas federal grand jury has
indicted Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao, a resident of Orange County, Calif., for
filing false liens against federal employees and corruptly obstructing
the administration of the federal tax laws, the Justice Department and
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The court has not yet
set a trial date.
According to the indictment, Cao filed 22 false liens in public records
in Nevada against federal officials and employees of the Securities and
Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of California, the Secret Service and the IRS, as well as false
liens against four federal judges. According to the indictment, the
false liens ranged from $25 million to $300 million.
The indictment further alleges that Cao corruptly obstructed the
administration of the federal tax laws, by, among other things, filing
retaliatory false liens against IRS employees, filing and attempting to
file with the IRS false Forms 1099-OID (Original Issue Discount) that
claimed fictitious income tax withholdings, filing and attempting to
file false tax returns that claim fraudulent refunds totaling
approximately $20 billion, and preparing at least five false tax returns
for third parties that claimed fraudulent income tax refunds totaling
in excess of $1.1 million based upon fictitious income tax withholdings.
An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a
defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt. If convicted, Cao faces a maximum of 223 years in prison and a
maximum fine of $5.75 million.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General
for Tax Administration and the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being
prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Christopher S. Strauss and
Joseph A. Rillotta.
More information about the Justice Department's Tax Division and its
enforcement efforts is available at www.usdoj.gov/tax/.