PENSACOLA – A former IRS tax examiner was indicted along with three others for filing false tax returns that resulted in a nearly $100,000 payout.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida said former IRS tax examiner Jimmie McCorvey was at the center of a ring intent on defrauding the Deepwater Horizon claims process.
McCorvey, who was an IRS employee at the time of the alleged crime, is allegedly responsible for filing false tax returns on behalf of Pensacola residents Rosa M. Bonner, Ariyanna S. Lampley and Marcia D. McCorvey, as well as himself and others. Prosecutors say the fake tax documents showed the accused suffered damages from the 2010 oil spill when in fact they had not.
According to a “fraud tally” on The State of the Gulf, a website set up by BP in the wake of the oil spill, the indictment of McCorvey and his alleged co-conspirators brings to 245 the number of people charged with swindling the oil spill settlement fund. Of that number, 180 people have been convicted of stealing more than $17 million in oil spill payments.
BP has long maintained that the settlement process has been undermined by fraudulent activities that were not properly tracked and verified by those in charge of ensuring payments to claimants were legitimate.
McCorvey appears to have used a method of fraud that is increasingly common – using fake tax forms to justify damage claims but not actually filing those claims with the IRS. Federal prosecutors say it was through this method that McCorvey and his co-conspirators were able to defraud BP for a combined $95,200.
McCorvey is also under indictment in separate case for identity theft stemming from his filing of 25 fraudulent federal income tax returns from 2009 to 2011, which provided him with $62,200 in tax refunds.
A trial for the McCorvey and his co-defendants has been set for April.