News and Commentary

Former IRS Agent Sentenced For Tax Fraud

A former special agent with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was sentenced on Tuesday to more than four years in prison for tax fraud.

Alena Aleykina of Sacramento, CA was sentenced to 51 months after filing six false tax returns in three years, stealing money from the government, and obstructing the investigation into her crimes. A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said the false tax returns were filed between 2009 and 2011.

“According to the evidence introduced at trial, Aleykina, who is also a Certified Public Accountant and holds a master’s degree in business administration, filed six false tax returns: three personal tax returns for years 2009, 2010, and 2011 and three in the names of trusts she created for years 2010 and 2011,” the release said.

Aleykina, 45, falsely claimed a head of household status on her personal tax returns, on which she also listed false dependents and fraudulently claimed education deductions.

But Aleykina apparently didn’t stop there. She also petitioned the California Superior Court for Yolo County for a fraudulent legal separation from her husband so the couple could claim rental real estate loss deductions, according to the press release. She also told her employer that she was taking English classes from a trust registered to her sister in order to receive $4,000 from the IRS’s Tuition Assistance Program.

On a trust tax return, Aleykina claimed she was paying her mother and sister to take care of her son and father.

Oh, and then she lied to investigators about where her government-issued laptop was. She also deleted dozens of files from the laptop once the authorities left.

“In sentencing Aleykina, Judge [John A.] Mendez stated his concern that defendant was a federal law enforcement officer and emphasized the importance of that fact when considering the defendant’s betrayal of the public’s trust,” the release stated. “Judge Mendez stated that such fraud and misconduct from a federal agent cannot be tolerated and that the defendant’s behavior shocked the conscience. In addition to the term of prison imposed, Judge Mendez ordered Aleykina to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $4,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.”

Aleykina was found guilty on June 15, 2018, by a federal jury in the Eastern District of California after a two-week trial.

The IRS has had its fair share of scandals in recent years. Earlier this year, a Boston-based IRS agent pled not guilty to handcuffing and raping a 21-year-old female intern while shoving a gun down her throat. Another IRS agent, this one from Philadelphia, PA, was arrested in September 2017 for second-degree sexual abuse. Yet another agent, from Boise, ID, was sentenced last December for distributing methamphetamine.

Aleykina isn’t even the first IRS agent arrested in recent history for tax fraud. In 2015, a former IRS agent was arrested for orchestrating a tax-refund scheme that may have generated $1 million in false claims. In 2009, a California IRS agent pled guilty to tax fraud.