January 24, 2022

News

News Network

Operators of California Charity Scam Sentenced to Prison for Mail Fraud Conspiracy and Tax Evasion

15 min read
<div>Geraldine Hill and Clayton Hill, a California couple who operated a charity that purported to provide goods to the needy, were sentenced to prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax evasion. Geraldine Hill was sentenced to 15 months in in prison, and Clayton Hill was sentenced to 9 months in prison, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr. for the Southern District of California.</div>

Geraldine Hill and Clayton Hill, a California couple who operated a charity that purported to provide goods to the needy, were sentenced to prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax evasion. Geraldine Hill was sentenced to 15 months in in prison, and Clayton Hill was sentenced to 9 months in prison, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr. for the Southern District of California.

According to court documents and statements made in court, the Hills operated On Your Feet (OYF), also known as the Family Resource Center, a tax-exempt charitable organization whose stated mission was to provide assistance to low income families and individuals in need. From 2011 through 2016, the Hills fraudulently obtained more than $1.35 million in donated clothing and other items for OYF by falsely representing to the donors that the items would be given to needy recipients. In fact, the Hills caused OYF to make only about $13,000 in charitable donations, and then sold the remaining donated items, and used the proceeds to support themselves and their family members. Between January 2011 and February 2017, the Hills spent nearly $380,000 from their personal and charity bank accounts on personal expenses including some luxury retail purchases, vacations, entertainment, and vehicles. To conceal their conduct from the IRS, the Hills filed false charitable tax returns for OYF, and did not pay taxes or file personal tax returns for 2013 and 2014.

“The defendants defrauded the IRS and companies that donated goods in an effort to alleviate poverty and suffering among the least fortunate,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “The Tax Division is committed to investigating and prosecuting those individuals who seek to use the cover of a charity to illegally line their own pockets.”

“Geraldine and Clayton Hill lied to unsuspecting donors about the direction of charitable contributions and engaged in tax fraud to cover their trail,” said Jim Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Unfortunately, the donors were well-meaning organizations interested in helping the needy and this fraud prevented real people in need from receiving assistance. IRS Criminal Investigation works tirelessly to ensure that criminals like the Hills are brought to justice. In cases like these, not only do the needy of our communities suffer, but also taxpayers and the U.S. government.”

On June 9, 2020, the Hills pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax evasion.

In addition to the terms of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered the Hills to serve three years of supervised release, and to pay $50,933 in restitution to the United States for their tax evasion. A hearing to address victim restitution for the mail fraud will take place at later date.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Brewer commended special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Valerie Preiss of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Kanter, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

News Network

  • [Protest of AID Contract Award for Administrative, Technical, and Program Support]
    In U.S GAO News
    A firm protested an Agency for International Development (AID) contract award for administrative, technical, and program support, contending that AID: (1) improperly based its cost realism analysis on predecessor contracts that had dissimilar work requirements; (2) should have upwardly adjusted the awardee's proposed costs for travel and the use of consultants because they were unrealistically low; and (3) should have awarded it the contract, since its combined evaluation score was higher than the awardee's evaluation score. GAO held that: (1) AID reasonably based its cost realism analysis on the predecessor contracts, since they were substantially similar in scope to the instant procurement; (2) the protester failed to present any evidence that the awardee's proposed costs were unrealistically low; (3) AID reasonably evaluated the protester's proposed costs; and (4) AID properly made award to the low bidder, since the bidders' proposals were technically equal. Accordingly, the protest was denied.
    [Read More…]
  • U.S. Decision To Reengage with the UN Human Rights Council
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Participation in Ministerial on Libya
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at a Roundtable with Democracy Activists and Civil Society
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken with Senegalese Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    In Crime News
    A New Jersey man who controlled two U.S.-based companies pleaded guilty today for paying a total of $100,000 in bribes to a Korean government official in order to obtain and retain contracts with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), a state-owned and state-controlled agency within the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense.
    [Read More…]
  • DOD Systems Modernization: Maintaining Effective Communication Is Needed to Help Ensure the Army’s Successful Deployment of the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System
    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of Defense (DOD) has had long-standing, serious problems with its numerous military component-unique personnel and pay systems, including accurately paying its military personnel on time and monitoring and tracking them to, from, and within their duty stations. For example, in the early 1990s, Army Reserve and National Guard troops received inaccurate or late pay and benefits after serving in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We previously reported that the lack of integration among DOD's multiple military personnel and pay systems, among other things, caused these and similar errors. To address these and other problems, in February 1998, DOD initiated a program to design and implement the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS). DIMHRS is intended to provide a joint, integrated, standardized personnel and pay system for all military components (including active and reserve components). In November 2004, DOD accepted the design of the first phase of DIMHRS for personnel and pay functions and then proceeded with development of the system. Meanwhile, as we reported in 2006, some Army Reserve and National Guard troops continued to receive inaccurate pay resulting in part from a lack of integration in Army personnel and pay systems. Furthermore, personnel and pay problems have been exacerbated by the hundreds of thousands of military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, whose families depend on receiving accurate and timely pay, in addition to DOD's need to track military personnel in and out of theater. DOD is concurrently working with the Army, Air Force, and Navy, but the Army is to be the first to deploy DIMHRS. Therefore, we focused our review on DOD's plans to deliver the system to the Army for deployment. DOD has planned five DIMHRS deployment dates for the Army with the most recent one scheduled in March 2009. Four of the deployment dates were postponed--April 2006, April 2008, July 2008, and October 2008. As of April 2008, DOD moved the October date to March 2009. DIMHRS uses software referred to as a commercial-off-the-shelf product. According to DIMHRS program officials, including the Deputy Director of the Business Transformation Agency, the product will address all military component requirements. In February 2005, we reported that because DOD was not managing the DIMHRS program effectively, including its requirements, it was at increased risk of not delivering promised system capabilities and benefits on time. Since our 2005 report, we have monitored DOD's progress in managing the DIMHRS program under the authority of the Comptroller General to conduct evaluations on his own initiative. Specifically for this report, our objective was to determine to what extent DOD has effectively communicated the DIMHRS's capabilities to the Army in order for the Army to prepare for deployment of the system in March 2009.DOD has taken some recent steps to improve communications with the Army about DIMHRS's capabilities in an effort to better prepare the Army for deployment of the system in March 2009. However, Army officials still have some concerns about the extent to which Army requirements are being incorporated into DIMHRS. In addition, DOD has not established a clear, well-defined process for maintaining effective communications to better prepare the Army to deploy DIMHRS. Effective communication is a key federal internal control standard that calls for communications to constantly flow down, across, and up the organization to help it achieve all of its objectives. Such communication would improve the Army's understanding of what the system will deliver thus enabling the Army to better design and implement effective business processes to work with DIMHRS. The Army has had problems receiving assurance from DOD about the extent to which its requirements would be included in DIMHRS. For example, in September 2007, when the Army compared versions 3.0 and 3.1 of the system requirements document, it noted that DOD's DIMHRS program office had not effectively communicated with the Army the rationale or negotiated the acceptance of the Army's requirements that were dropped, changed, or both, which were agreed upon in version 3.0. During the Army's review of version 3.1, it identified and submitted 717 issues for DOD to resolve. Furthermore, when communicating changes for version 3.1, the format made it difficult for the Army to perform its comparative analysis. Army officials said that when the DIMHRS program office does not effectively communicate to them the differences between its requirements and the system, they have difficulty conducting a gap analysis between the system's planned capabilities and their own requirements. The gap analysis forms the basis upon which the Army can determine whether it needs to develop or adjust its business processes prior to deploying DIMHRS. DOD recently took steps to improve its communications with the Army about DIMHRS's capabilities and its impact on Army requirements. For example, in May 2008, the DIMHRS program office began to meet with Army officials to discuss the development of a formal process of delivering and adjudicating the documented updates to the design; this includes the differences between the Army's requirements--documented need of what a particular product or service should be or do--and the DIMHRS's requirements, which are documented in the system requirements document. According to Army officials, with respect to version 3.2, they identified 311 issues with 98 issues remaining in July 2008, which the DIMHRS program office is working to resolve. Additionally, in April 2008, the DIMHRS program office shared more detailed information about DIMHRS's capabilities through activities, such as demonstrations of the system capabilities. Moreover, the Deputy Director of the Business Transformation Agency stated that moving the deployment date to March 2009 allowed the DIMHRS program office and the Army the time to communicate about DIMHRS's capabilities. Although these steps have been taken, DOD has not developed and documented a clearly defined process for maintaining effective communications of the differences between DIMHRS's capabilities and Army requirements. Without a clearly defined process for maintaining effective communications, the Army may not be effectively prepared to deploy the system when scheduled, and DOD may deliver a system that will require extensive and expensive investments.
    [Read More…]
  • Priority Open Recommendations: Environmental Protection Agency
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In April 2020, GAO identified 21 priority recommendations for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since then, EPA has implemented six of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to better track and promote water utilities' implementation of asset management and updating its guidance on testing for lead in drinking water at schools. In June 2021, GAO identified seven additional priority recommendations for EPA, bringing the total number to 22. These recommendations involve the following areas: assessing and controlling toxic chemicals; reducing pollution in the nation's waters; ensuring cybersecurity at EPA; addressing data, cybersecurity, and risk communication issues for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; managing climate change risks; and protecting the nation's air quality. EPA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations. Why GAO Did This Study Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations. For more information, contact Mark Gaffigan at (202) 512-3841 or gaffiganm@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Robert Katzmann, Judge and Civics Advocate, Dies at 68
    In U.S Courts
    Robert A. Katzmann, a former chief judge of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and a tireless, impassioned advocate of civics education, died June 9. He was 68.
    [Read More…]
  • Promoting Fair and Transparent Selection of Justices to Guatemala’s Constitutional Court
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
  • Former CEO and Founder of Technology Company Pleads Guilty to Investment Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    The former chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Trustify, Inc. (Trustify), a privately-held technology company founded in 2015 and based in Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to his involvement in a fraud scheme resulting in millions of dollars of losses to investors.
    [Read More…]
  • Man Convicted of Receiving, Soliciting, and Promoting Child Pornography
    In Crime News
    A federal jury convicted a Virginia man today for downloading images and videos depicting children as young as four years old being sexually abused and for utilizing the Darknet to solicit and promote child pornography.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department and EPA Reach Clean Air Act Settlement with Advanced Flow Engineering for Selling Defeat Devices
    In Crime News
    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Advanced Flow Engineering (aFe), an automotive parts manufacturer and distributor based in Corona, California, has agreed to stop manufacturing and selling parts for motor vehicles that, when installed, defeat, disable or override EPA-approved emission controls and harm air quality.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken to Deliver Remarks to the Press
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Togo Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel [Read More…]
  • Kenya Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel [Read More…]
  • India Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Do not travel to India [Read More…]
  • NASA’s Curiosity Keeps Rolling As Team Operates Rover From Home
    In Space
    The Mars mission has [Read More…]
  • China Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to the [Read More…]
  • Young Houstonian sent to prison for nearly 20 years
    In Justice News
    A 24-year-old Houston [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.