BEND, Ore. - A Bend man has been indicted and arrested on federal charges of falsely seeking nearly $900,000 in federal tax refunds – receiving one refund of more than $300,000 – and of making false claims to retaliate against former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and two Eugene IRS employees, the agency said Saturday.
Mark T. Ellis was indicted late last month on four counts of making a false claim for tax refunds and four counts of retaliating against a federal employee by false claim. He was arrested Feb. 22 in Bend by federal marshals and given conditional release pending an April 15 status conference and April 30 trial date, court records showed. A federal public defender was appointed to represent him.
The indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene claims Ellis filed four false refund claims on four occasions between 2008 and 2010, resulting in a $311,459 federal tax refund "to which he was not entitled."
Starting in 2007, prosecutors alleged, Ellis "used and promoted illegal debt termination programs in an attempt to fraudulently cancel his and others' debts, including home mortgages and credit card bills, and to falsely obtain tax refunds to which he and others were not entitled."
Prosecutors also allege in the indictment that Ellis "purchased and used trusts in order to illegally hide or shield his income and assets, including business income, from the IRS."
In 2010 and 2011, the indictment alleges, Ellis filed false liens against the property of then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, IRS agent Ron Robinson and IRS special agent and criminal investigator Jonathon Dittmon "on the account of the performance of their official duties," which contained "materially false, fictitious, fraudulent statements and representations."