CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah County men facing charges for defrauding the United States

Feb 3, 2023, 3:30 PM | Updated: 4:50 pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Zachary Bassett and Mason Warr have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The United States Attorney’s Office District of Utah announced the charges Friday in a press release.  And they said the case and investigation are ongoing.

The claims state that Bassett and Warr used a fraudulent tax scheme to receive COVID-19-related relief funds.  In the process, they reportedly submitted more than 1,000 tax forms to the IRS.  Officials said the men garnered over $11 million in false employee retention credit and sick leave wage credits for clients.

The men reportedly own businesses by the names of COS Accounting and 1099 Tax Pros. They did not immediately respond to KSL NewsRadio’s request for comment. 

The release continues:

“During the pandemic, the defendants allegedly took advantage of a program intended to provide critical relief for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Albert Childress.  “IRS CI is committed to bringing justice to those who have exploited the pandemic for personal gain and have stolen from America’s taxpayers.”

Charges against Bassett and Warr include:

  • conspiracy to defraud the United States,
  • wire fraud,
  • aiding and assisting in filing false tax returns. 

According to the indictment, the fraud took place from April 2020 through August 2021.  Bassett and Warr’s first court appearance will be February 22, 2023, at 1 p.m. at the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah made the announcement.

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Utah County men facing charges for defrauding the United States