March 27, 2024

The IRS Criminal Investigation division began counting down the top 10 cases for calendar year 2021 on its Twitter account on Jan. 3. These cases include the agency’s most prominent and high-profile investigations of 2021.

“The investigative work of 2021 has all the makings of a made for TV movie – embezzlement of funds from a nonprofit, a family fraud ring that stole millions in COVID-relief funds and a $1 billion Ponzi scheme used to buy sports teams and luxury vehicles. But this is real life and I’m grateful to our IRS-CI agents for pursuing these leads and ensuring that the perpetrators were prosecuted for their crimes,” said IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee.

The top 10 IRS-CI cases of 2021 include:

10. Albuquerque couple sentenced to federal prison in Ayudando Guardians case

Susan Harris and William Harris were sentenced to 47 and 15 years in federal prison, respectively. They stole funds from Ayudando Guardians Inc., a nonprofit organization that provided guardianship, conservatorship and financial management to hundreds of people with special needs.

9. Rochester man going to prison and ordered to pay millions in restitution for his role in Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of millions of dollars

John Piccarreto Jr. was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution totaling $19,842,613.66 after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and filing a false tax return. He conspired with others to obtain money through an investment…

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