Orlando, Florida –U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger has sentenced Mark Goolsby to two years in federal prison for filing a false claim for a tax refund. The court also ordered Goolsby to pay $420,288 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Goolsby had pleaded guilty on March 11, 2020.
According to court documents, Goolsby filed a fraudulent federal tax return for the 2014 tax year, falsely claiming that he had earned 1099-Misc income of over $1 million, paid more than $800,000 in federal withholding taxes, and was due a tax refund of $420,288. The IRS processed the return and issued a check to Goolsby for the false refund. Shortly thereafter, the IRS realized that the return was false and began collection proceedings to obtain the refund. Goolsby refused to return the proceeds and instead hid the funds in multiple bank accounts, withdrew large amounts of cash, purchased a vehicle in the name of a third party, and otherwise spent the proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle.
“In almost twenty years investigating tax fraud, every once in a while a case comes along that causes me to shake my head in disbelief,” stated Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Tampa Field Office. “Mr. Goolsby had the audacity to submit a false claim for a flagrant refund, through his trickery received that bogus refund, then when the IRS caught up to him, he spun a web of lies to cover his tracks. IRS Special Agents are the best financial investigators in the world, tenaciously committed to protecting the integrity of our tax system. The resolution of this case, as the tax season draws to a close, should serve as a warning to would-be cheats that there is no place to hide.”
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Gable.