Randy Usow, an accountant from Mequon, WI,, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after defrauding the IRS by using his client’s identity to file bogus tax returns.
Usow used former Milwaukee Bucks center Zaza Pachulia’s personal information to file false tax returns that generated inflated refunds, much of which Usow pocketed by opening a bank account in Pachulia’s name without the player’s knowledge.
In a refund filed for 2014, Usow’s false return netted him a $463,867 refund. The tax return given to Pachulia for review showed a refund of approximately $164,000. Usow opened another bank account under the name of US Government LLC, where he transferred the large refund and then wired Pachulia the amount he was expecting to make it look as though the refund came from the IRS.
Prosecutors recommended the federal sentencing guideline of 54 to 61 months, but due to a plea deal, urged the judge to issue a prison term of three years. U.S. District Judge Pamela Pepper gave the reduced sentenced and credited Usow for his generally good character and support of his family and friends. But she also noted that unlike most tax refund fraud cases she sees, involving poorly trained people getting poor people to let them do their returns, Usow has post-graduate training and no real need for the money he stole. “You were someone everybody had the right to put their confidence in”, she said. Judge Pepper said Usow didn’t have to report to prison until after April 30th — so he could have time to finish tax returns for his remaining clients!