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Vegas family pleads guilty after stealing more than $2 million in tax refunds

Three members of the Trinh family have pleaded guilty after stealing over $2 million in fraudulent tax refunds. (MGN Online)

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday, Dec. 11, that three Las Vegas residents, all members of the Trinh family, pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal more than $2 million in income tax refunds from the IRS.

Chanh V. Trinh, Cannedy Trinh and Elizabeth Trinh each pleaded guilty to the crime, with Chanh also pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft for using his deceased brother’s identity in the scam.

Documents filed with the court show that the Trinhs conspired to file federal corporate and individual income tax returns, in which they reported false withholdings and payments, causing the IRS to issue tax refunds.

The three family members filed the returns in the names of made up businesses, their own names and the names of individuals, including Chanh’s dead brother.

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Chanh prepared the returns and filed them, while all three deposited or cashed the refund checks using various bank accounts and check-cashing businesses throughout the valley.

The Trinhs were able to hide the funds through a system of cashier’s checks, which they’d trade in exchange for gambling chips at Las Vegas casinos.

By the time they were caught, the Trinhs’ scheme had resulted in false claims of more than $6 million, as well as over $2 million paid out by the IRS in fraudulent refunds.

U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan scheduled sentencing for all three members of the Trinh family for April 4, 2019.

Chanh will be sentenced to 102 months (nine and a half years) in prison under a plea agreement, if the court accepts it.

Cannedy will be sentenced to 24 months (two years) in prison under his plea deal, if accepted by the court.

Elizabeth will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison under her plea agreement.

The Trinhs also face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.

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