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Ex-Poughkeepsie Resident Fined $1.2M In Slave Reparations Tax Fraud Scheme

U.S. Court House in White Plains
U.S. Court House in White Plains Photo Credit: MoreLaw

A former Poughkeepsie resident was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $1.2 million for filing false tax returns for slave reparations on behalf of family members, said Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Damyon Shuler, 47, of Orange City, Fla., pleaded guilty in April to the charges and was sentenced on Friday, Kim said.

According to documents filed with the court, from February 2010 through March 2011, Shuler approached relatives and others and told them that he could claim slave reparations on their behalf by filing tax returns with the IRS, for which he charged a $4,000 to $5,000 fee.

He then filed 30 returns with the IRS on behalf of other taxpayers, claiming bogus refunds of between $48,184 and $61,300 on each return, Kim said.

To generate the fraudulent refunds, Shuler would report fake capital gains income and taxes paid on that income in the exact same amount. He also attached to each return a form falsely reporting that a Treasury Department office or program identified as “Overpayment of Black Invest Taxes” had paid the taxes to the IRS.

To conceal that he prepared the returns, Shuler did not list himself as the preparer. He also filed a claim on himself claiming a refund of $46,685 based on the same scheme. In total, the scheme led to losses of more than $1.2 million.

Shuler was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release.

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