Anderson man, 64, to plead guilty in identity fraud scheme

September 8, 2016

An Anderson man is expected to plead guilty to using false identities to obtain fraudulent tax refunds totaling about $238,000 over three years.

The proposed plea agreement says 64-year-old Dwayne S. Peak allegedly participated in a scheme in which identity theft victims had tax returns prepared in their name. More than 20 fraudulent tax refunds were deposited into several bank accounts Peak controlled from the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

"Defrauding the IRS takes money from the United States Treasury and ultimately is stealing from the American public," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a statement issued Tuesday. "Those who choose this illegal activity will be held accountable."

Peak took responsibility for his actions.

"I make no claim of innocence, and I am freely and voluntarily pleading guilty in this case," Peak stated in the agreement. "I am pleading guilty as set forth in this plea agreement because I am guilty of the offense to which I am entering my plea."

The agreement hasn't been approved by a U.S. District Court judge.

James M. Warden, an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, said Peak faces a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities have also moved to seize nearly $16,000 Peak had on account with Independent Federal Credit Union.

"Identity theft and refund fraud are top priorities for IRS criminal investigation," said John C. Pesnichak, acting special agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. "We are vigilant in our investigations of these schemes."

Peak's defense attorney, Mario Garcia, didn't return The Herald Bulletin's call seeking comment.


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