US v Pete Hendrickson
- UNITED STATES SUES NINE IN NATIONWIDE CRACKDOWN ON TAX-REFUND SCAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that, in a
nationwide crackdown against a tax-fraud scheme promoted by Peter
Eric Hendrickson of Commerce Township, Mich., it has brought suit
against nine people this week. According to the government
complaints, filed in seven lawsuits across the country, the nine
peopleincluding Hendrickson and his wife Doreen M. Hendricksonhave
received a total of nearly $150,000 in erroneous tax refunds by
submitting false forms with their federal tax returns to replace W-2
and 1099 forms that correctly reported their income.
In seven suits filed in U.S. district courts in California, Nevada,
Michigan, Alabama, Florida and Kansas, the Justice Department seeks
to recover the erroneous refunds. In addition, the suit against
Hendrickson, filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, asks the
court to enjoin him from filing false tax forms and returns. A
violation of the injunction would be punishable as contempt of court.
According to the complaint, Hendrickson claims that only government
workers are subject to income taxes. Hendrickson tells people to not
submit their W-2 and 1099 forms with their tax returns, and in their
place submit substitute or corrected W-2 and 1099 forms that they
create on which they change their reported income to zero. Under the
scheme, people then submit the falsified forms with a tax return
falsely reporting no income and request a refund of all taxes
withheld from wages. This scheme is number one on the IRS's 2006
list of the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams, posted at
"Federal law provides serious penalties for filing false tax forms,"
said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice
Department's Tax Division. "People who engage in tax fraud schemes
can expect to pay back taxes, plus interest and penalties, and may
face criminal prosecution for evading taxes."
The suit against Hendrickson alleges that he was convicted in 1992
on federal criminal charges for failing to file a federal income tax
return and for a conspiracy involving a firebomb placed in a bin at
a U.S. Post Office in Royal Oak, Mich. on April 16, 1990, the last
day on which tax returns could be postmarked that year. Hendrickson
testified at a co-conspirator's trial that he wrapped a tea bag
around the bomb's tubing as a reference to the Boston Tea Party tax
The seven people sued in addition to the Hendricksons are Sharon K.
Artman of Largo, Fla.; Michael J. Dowling of San Diego; Joy M.
Ferguson of Henderson, Nev.; Melvin L. Gerstenkorn of Topeka, Kan.;
Larry B. Golson and Debra G. Golson of Montgomery, Ala.; and James
A. Spitzer of Winter Park, Fla. Copies of all seven complaints will
be posted with this press release today at
This week's suits are part of the IRS's and Justice Department's
efforts against tax-fraud schemes. More information about these
efforts can be found at www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2006.htm.
Information about the Tax Division can be found at www.usdoj.gov/tax.
Peter Hendrickson's own complaint can be found
http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/Hendrickson_Complaint.pdf and alleges that
PH received more than $20,000 in erroneous refunds by filing false
income tax returns for 2002 and 2003.