BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A federal grand jury has indicted a Baltimore resident for filing fraudulent tax refunds for more than $23 million.
Makushamari Gozo, 40, was a native of Zimbabwe living in Baltimore. He was indicted on July 19 and arrested the next day.
“The indictment charges that Makushamari Gozo received $180,000 in fraudulent federal tax refunds and tried to collect more than $22 million in tax credits and refunds for over 39 million gallons of alternative fuel that he falsely claimed his sham companies had purchased,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said.
According to court documents, Gozo was involved in real estate transactions between March 1998 and May 2002 on behalf of five Maryland businesses he incorporated. The state had forfeited all businesses by October 2004 for failing to pay property taxes.
Gozo’s indictment reveals that in 2009, he reinstated the five forfeited businesses and filed income tax returns of more than $417,000 claiming that he had earned wages from two companies between 2007 and 2011. He also filed for $76,000 in tax refunds claiming that he had suffered losses from a third company between 2007 and 2009.
Between October 2011 and February 2012, Gozo filed $22,657,137 in excise tax returns on claims that a fourth company was entitled to tax refunds and credits for buying or using over 39 million gallons of alternative fuel.
Gozo faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison where he has been held since his arrest. He has not been scheduled for a court appearance.