Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a Cook County jury found a Chicago accountant guilty of defrauding the state out of over $250,000.
Raoul’s office prosecuted Oscar Garrett, 61, of Chicago, who was found guilty in Cook County Circuit Court of the theft of government property, identity theft, wire and mail fraud, forgery and income tax fraud. Following the conviction, Garrett’s $300,000 bond was revoked, and he is in custody at the Cook County Jail. His next court appearance is June 7.
“It is unacceptable that an accountant would abuse their position to betray the trust of clients and defraud the state of Illinois,” Raoul said. “I appreciate the ongoing collaboration of the Illinois Department of Revenue to hold individuals accountable for taking advantage of clients and stealing from the people of Illinois.”
The Attorney General’s office alleged that between January 2011 and December 2016, Garrett obtained fraudulent tax refunds on behalf of over a dozen clients by filing false 1099-R and 1099-M forms. The 1099-R forms, which are filed to report income from retirement accounts, were filed on behalf of the clients who did not have such income to report. As a result, Garrett was able to fraudulently obtain tax refunds from the state, while his clients were unaware of the fraudulent nature of the returns being filed in their names.
Garrett previously spent more than two and half years in federal prison after being convicted of operating a similar scheme defrauding the Internal Revenue Service.
The case was investigated by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).
“The IDOR is committed to vigorously investigating instances of income tax fraud,” IDOR Director David Harris said. “IDOR and our Bureau of Criminal Investigation worked closely with the Attorney General’s office to prosecute this tax fraud case.”
Assistant Attorney General Maribeth Ennis handled the case for Raoul’s Special Prosecution Bureau, and Deputy Bureau Chief Jonas Harger handled the case for Raoul’s Public Integrity Bureau.