Worker at V.A. hospital accused of tax fraud

An employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Hospital in Coatesville was indicted on Thursday, Feb. 11, by federal officials.

Martin W. Kennedy, 68, is accused of preparing false tax returns and theft of government property, said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger in a press release.

According to an indictment filed on Tuesday, Feb. 9, Kennedy prepared approximately 176 federal income tax returns for other individuals, including his co-workers, during the years 2010 through 2013, which fraudulently sought tax refunds of approximately $610,526, the release said.

It is further alleged that the tax returns that Kennedy prepared contained false financial information regarding the filers’ Schedule C Business Expenses and the filers’ Schedule A Medical Expenses, charitable deductions, and phantom losses from the sale of business property.  In addition to charging his co-workers a fee for preparing their tax returns, Kennedy allegedly stole a portion of his clients’ refunds by having a portion of them deposited into his personal bank account, the release said.

To accomplish his alleged theft, Kennedy prepared, without the filers’ knowledge, IRS Form 8888 requesting that a portion of the refund be deposited into a bank account controlled by Kennedy with the remaining amount of the refund deposited into the filers’ account.  According to an online profile, Kennedy worked as a health technician at the Coatesville V.A. Hospital.

If convicted of all counts, Kennedy faces a substantial period of incarceration, a possible fine, restitution to the IRS, a period of supervised release, and a $1,400 special assessment. The case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and IRS Criminal Investigations, the release said.

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