EDISON, NJ - A 28-count indictment was unsealed Thursday in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging an IRS officer assigned to the Edison office.

James Brewer, a resident of Staten Island, N.Y., with seven counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, three counts of subscribing to false federal tax returns, six counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns, 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, and perjury.

Brewer was arrested in Las Vegas, Nev., and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow afternoon before a United States Magistrate Judge at the federal courthouse in Las Vegas.

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The charges were announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office and Rodney A. Davis, Special Agent-in-Charge, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Washington Field Division.

“As alleged, James Brewer abused his position of trust to enrich himself,” stated Acting United States Attorney Currie. “He willfully disregarded his responsibility to deal honestly and testify truthfully, and now stands accused of a series of crimes. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to enforce our laws across the board.”

According to the indictment, Brewer operated two outside businesses contrary to IRS regulations: he prepared tax returns for others in exchange for fees, and he operated a business selling designer clothes, collectable toys, sports memorabilia, and other items through the Internet auction site “eBay.”

 “The crimes alleged in this indictment are very serious. While employed by the IRS to enforce our nation’s tax laws, it is alleged that James Brewer was himself breaking these laws,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office. “Today’s indictment underscores our commitment to work in a collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels and to prosecute those who allegedly violate the public’s trust.”

As part of a scheme to fraudulently reduce his taxable income and increase his tax refunds, Brewer failed to report any income he received for his unauthorized tax preparation business, underreported the gross receipts earned from his Internet retail business, and claimed false dependents on federal tax returns he prepared and filed on his behalf for three tax years. Brewer also engaged in a multi-year scheme in which he prepared and filed false tax returns for others.

Brewer listed false dependents and false deductions on these returns, among other materially false information, in order to fraudulently cause his clients to receive a refund to which they were otherwise not entitled or fraudulently inflate their refunds. In doing so, Brewer listed the names and social security numbers of various individuals on those tax returns as dependents without those individuals’ authorization.

As part of this scheme, Brewer also diverted a portion of those clients’ refunds to himself, in some cases without his clients’ authorization or knowledge. Finally, in an effort to fraudulently obtain for himself a tax credit for first time homebuyers, Brewer lied under oath about his residency when he testified in a matter in the United States Tax Court in New York, N.Y.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Marisa Megur Seifan and Moira Kim Penza are in charge of the prosecution.