2 Ohio men convicted for bilking the IRS of $8M

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- A federal jury in northeast Ohio has convicted two men for defrauding the IRS of about $8 million through a tax refund scheme.

The jury in Cleveland on Thursday found 38-year-old Gerard Scott and 64-year-old Don Gooch guilty of five charges of conspiring to defraud the federal agency and of making false claims to the federal government.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/1ctAvNC) reports prosecutors alleged the men created a phony trust and falsely reported $17 million in withheld income taxes. The IRS then issued various refund checks totaling $8 million, which the defendants spent on luxury cars and other items.

The defendants acted as their own attorneys during the three-day trial and claimed they did not break any laws.

The presiding judge ordered Scott and Gooch taken into custody.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com