Jury Convicts Andover Attorney on $1 Million IRS Fraud

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

An Andover attorney was convicted Monday of laundering more than $1 million in fraudulently-obtained Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refund checks through several different bank accounts, including the attorney’s trust accounts.

R. David Cohen, 64, was convicted by a federal jury in Boston of on one count of conspiracy, 14 counts of conversion and receipt of stolen United States property, and one count conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for April 26.

“The evidence at trial demonstrated a scheme in which individuals filed fraudulent tax returns with fictitious W-2 information, usually a name and social security number of a resident of Puerto Rico, whose residents are not required to file federal income tax returns,” a spokesperson said. “Once the fraudulent returns were accepted by the IRS, refund checks were sent to designated addresses in Lawrence, East Boston and New York controlled by Cohen’s co-conspirators.”

Cohen and Francisco Oscar “Frank” Grullon, 48, both of Andover at the time of the alleged crime, were charged with conspiracy, conversion and receipt of stolen United States property and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Cohen and Grullon were indicted in January, 2015, and Cohen was arrested by complaint in December, 2014. Grullon is believed to be outside of the United States.

Beginning in October 2011, Cohen and his co-conspirators deposited over 100 fraudulently-obtained tax refund checks totaling over $1 million into banks to launder them through Cohen’s “Interest On Lawyer’s Trust Accounts” (IOLTA), as well as through bank accounts in the name of AD Professional Association Inc.  When questioned by bank officials about the large amount of U.S. Treasury checks Cohen was depositing and negotiating through his IOLTA and personal accounts, Cohen falsely claimed that the payees were his clients. When one bank requested proof concerning one of the IRS refund checks, Cohen provided a fake participation agreement and affidavit purporting to state that he had the client’s authority to deposit her IRS refund check into his IOLTA account.

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