Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A one-time San Diego tax attorney and certified public accountant was sentenced Monday to 5 1/2 years in federal prison for using the identities of deceased children to create aliases that allowed him to evade millions of dollars in taxes.

In handing down the punishment for Lloyd Irving Taylor, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Anello also ordered the 71-year-old defendant to pay about $2.2 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Following a weeklong trial in June, a jury convicted Taylor of 19 felony charges, including aggravated identity theft, making false statements to a financial institution, tax evasion, corrupt interference with the IRS and lying on passport applications.

According to prosecutors, Taylor stole the personal information of dead children and used it to obtain fraudulent passports and other identifying documents, which he then used to open and maintain financial accounts so he could hide his income and assets from the IRS.

The stolen identities also allowed him to transfer funds between accounts and to buy assets, such as gold coins, as another means of skirting taxes, court documents state.

Similarly, Taylor created over a dozen fake churches and opened 31 related bank and investment accounts in their names. He then took advantage of the tax-exempt status of religious institutions to fraudulently claim that his income was not subject to federal taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.

Among witnesses who testified during the trial was the brother of one of the deceased people whose identity was stolen, as well as an elderly blind woman whose Social Security number was filched by Taylor.

Despite working and earning money for over 40 years, Taylor filed federal tax returns just seven times, prosecutors said. All told, he failed to report about $5 million in income, on which he owed the IRS about $1.6 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

— City News Services