Man Sentenced to Federal Prison For Falsifying Gambling Winnings

A Canadian national has been sentenced to 30 months in the U.S. federal prison system for defrauding the United States government.

According to an official release from the IRS, Toronto resident, William Henry Woo, submitted duplicate refund requests to the IRS Service Center in Austin, TX. He did so as a Canadian citizen seeking automatically withheld gambling winnings.

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Woo also inflated his actual refund amount on these falsified documents, ultimately defrauding the United States Department of Treasury of approximately $1.8 million in tax refund money.

Woo engaged in his scam between 2006 and 2010. He pleaded guilty to two of the nine counts on which he was indicted in October 2022. 

In addition to his 30-month prison term, Woo has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,771,011.67.

“Mr. Woo, who admitted his addiction to gambling, lost his biggest bet,” expressed U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas.

Esparza continued, “He got caught on his gamble that he could cheat the U.S. government on his taxes. I appreciate the work of IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) to investigate Mr. Woo’s deceitful conduct, allowing our system to deliver justice.”

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Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS CI’s Houston Field Office also weighed in, saying, “Fraud schemes against the IRS will not be tolerated, as stealing from the Nation’s treasury is stealing from every American, and Woo’s sentencing today concretely shows the severity of his crime.”

Covington also assured American taxpayers that the IRS is committed to stopping tax fraud now that the filing season is officially underway, “As the 2023 filing season begins, IRS-CI Special Agents remain committed to investigating, quickly stopping, and recommending for criminal prosecution all frauds against the IRS including abusive tax schemes, return preparer fraud, and stolen identity refund fraud.”

What do you think about Woo’s crimes?

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