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Englewood swindler admits using names of cancer patients to get tax refunds

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Jason Eaton of Englewood might have sought a trial on charges of using the names and Social Security numbers of cancer patients to scam the IRS out of tax refunds. But his primary accomplice admitted his role in the conspiracy two weeks ago, and a late-February sentencing date left the man plenty of time to testify on the government’s behalf against Eaton.

Rather than roll the dice, Eaton, 28, admitted he took advantage of Earned Income Credits (“EICs”) and Additional Child Tax Credits (“Child Tax Credits”) to lower-income taxpayers with minor children or other qualifying dependents, the government said.

EICs and Child Tax Credits reduce eligible taxpayers’ tax liabilities and, in certain cases, entitle eligible taxpayers to tax refunds.

Officially, Eaton pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to conspiring to file false claims against the U.S. and committing credit card fraud. U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh scheduled sentencing for him the same day as Nelson: Feb. 28.

The names and Social Security Numbers of adults came from records at doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, health clinics, government offices, and other places in New York where accomplices of Eaton’s had access to records.

“Several of the minors’ identifiers stolen in the scheme corresponded to records of pediatric cancer and other hospital and health clinic patients in New York City,” a statement from the U.S. Attorney‘s Office in Newark said.

The refunds were sent to addresses in the Bronx, including an accomplice’s house, his neighbors’ houses and his child’s mother’s house, federal authorities said.

All told, 163 bogus returns were filed with the IRS for the tax years 2005 through 2008, netting Eaton and his pals $507,000, the government said.

Englewood police officers arrested both men on Feb. 11, 2009, and found them carrying bogus tax documents, victim information, counterfeit credit cards and driver’s licenses, and a tax refund check in the name of a victim, the U.S. Attorney‘s Office said.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman credited special agents of  the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Unit, as well as special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, with help from the FBI’s Newark and New York field offices.

Fishman also lauded Englewood police for making such a large, important case possible.

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