While the children were stationed overseas, the couple used their names to collect false refunds.
A New Hampshire couple pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
According to court records, William Cote, 49, and Kelly Cote, 52, of Claremont, New Hampshire, filed false tax returns using the identities of Kelly’s sons and William’s stepsons, identified in court records as J.E. and T.E.
While J.E. was deployed overseas for the United States military, the Cotes prepared a false tax return for tax year 2011 using his identity. While T.E. was stationed overseas for the United States military, the Cotes prepared and filed false tax returns for tax years 2012 through 2015 using his identity.
To obtain larger refunds, the Cotes falsely listed J.E. and T.E. as head of household on the false tax refunds for these returns and deposited the money into their own joint bank account.
In February 2013, while T.E. was stationed overseas, the IRS audited the false 2012 tax return the Cotes filed using T.E.’s identity. On May 6, 2013, in a phone call with the auditor, William impersonated T.E. and “confirmed” the details in the false 2012 tax return. That same day, to support the false tax return, the Cotes prepared and faxed the auditor lease agreement that falsely stated that T.E. rented William and Kelly’s home. Kelly forged T.E.’s signature on the lease agreement.
In total, the Cotes received more than $36,700 in fraudulent tax refunds.