Fraud Against the Government is Rampant in Vermont According to Court Documents
Released on = March 7, 2007, 6:07 pm
Press Release Author = Tax Payers Against Fraud
Industry = Accounting
Press Release Summary = Washington, D.C. - As Americans around the country prepare and file their Federal Income Tax Returns, the debate over Tax Fraud and Fraud against the government heats up in a small Federal Court Room in Vermont, before US District Judge Garvan Murtha. According to Court documents filed in the case, Damian J. Renzello, 39 of East Montpelier, Vermont, a self-claimed inventor, is at the center of the litigation. Charges against Renzello include charges he deliberately falsified and omitted "substantial" assets on government affidavits in order to defraud the United States Judiciary and United States Government, of money, resources and other benefits for Renzello's sole benefit.
Press Release Body = Washington, D.C. - As Americans around the country prepare and file their Federal Income Tax Returns, the debate over Tax Fraud and Fraud against the government heats up in a small Federal Court Room in Vermont, before US District Judge Garvan Murtha. According to Court documents filed in the case, Damian J. Renzello, 39 of East Montpelier, Vermont, a self-claimed inventor, is at the center of the litigation. Charges against Renzello include charges he deliberately falsified and omitted "substantial" assets on government affidavits in order to defraud the United States Judiciary and United States Government, of money, resources and other benefits for Renzello's sole benefit.
According to Tax Payers (TAF) Against Fraud a grass-roots public interest organization, fraud against the United States government is more rampant than ever. TAF is dedicated to combating fraud against the Federal Government through the promotion and use of the Federal False Claims Act and its qui tam provisions, according to it's website, www.taf.org
The False Claims Act, also known as the \"Lincoln Law,\" dates back to the Civil War. Plagued by war profiteers selling the Union Army shoddy supplies at inflated prices, President Lincoln signed the False Claims Act into law in 1863. The original law included qui tam provisions that allowed private persons to sue those who defrauded the Government, the current Federal False Claims act can be found in United States Code Title 31. The term \"qui tam\" stands for a longer Latin phrase that is translated as \"he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.\" Qui tam is the technical legal term for the unique mechanism in the federal False Claims Act that allows persons and entities with evidence of fraud against the federal government to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the Government.
Renzello ran in to trouble when he commenced legal action against a former business partner and decided to make the US tax payer pay all his legal expenses, by claiming poverty. Renzello was required under the law to file an affidavit attesting to his poverty. According to court documents Renzello filed the necessary documents and was granted status as a pauper, by order of Judge Garvan Murtha.
When the affidavit was made public and the defendant learned of Renzello's poverty claim, documents were filed which showed: Renzello did have a checking account, although his affidavit stated "no", most alarming however were many documents evidencing Renzello had purchased a brand-new Harley Davidson motorcycle just weeks prior to his claim of poverty, the motorcycle was not listed as part of Renzello's assets in his affidavit claiming poverty.
Judge Murtha held a hearing in March of 2006, to determine the extent of Renzello's alleged fraud. Relying on tax documents and bank statements (from the non-existent bank accounts of Renzello) Murtha issued an opinion in July of 2006. Citing the tax returns submitted by Renzello indicating his company selling portable rinks (porta rinks for short) is not profitable. Renzello's website www.portarinxandbambini.com makes claims he has been in business for 10 years.
In the tax returns submitted by Renzello, he claims to have driven exactly 50,000 miles each year for two consecutive years, writing this mileage off as business expense while simultaneously declaring under penalty of perjury he works just 5 months per year. Court documents outline that Renzello must drive more than 330 miles a day on average every day during this 5 months of "work season", requiring him to drive more than 7 hours a day everyday for 5 months at an average of 50 miles an hour. It should be noted that Section 3729(e) of the Federal False Claims Act states the act \"does not apply to claims, records, or statements made under the Internal Revenue Code.\"
This is not the first trouble Damian J. Renzello has run into with charges made against him of unjust enrichment and fraud. Just a few years ago the company My Buddy Inc. filed suit against Renzello in Vermont Superior Court charging him with unjust enrichment and theft of intellectual property, the case was apparently settled with Renzello signing over numerous pieces of intellectual property to My Buddy Inc.
A few years prior to the lawsuit filed by My Buddy Inc. against Renzello and Damian J. Products for unjust enrichment; Renzello was at the center of an investigation and actions taken against him by the Vermont Attorney General; for "violation of the Consumer Fraud Act", according to reports made by the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus newspaper. Stemming from Renzello's representations of a business enterprise which according to the Vermont Attorney General's Office: "his business name and his logo deceived consumers" into thinking he (renzelo) was affiliated with the State.
Debra L. Leahy, Assistant Vermont Attorney General speared headed the action stating: "My concerns are that he's using the name of the state." Leahy went on to comment: "It implies some kind of connection and there isn't any. In our opinion, that was a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.", stated Leahy who is believed daughter of Vermont US Senator and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, who nominated presiding Judge Garvan Murtha. Deputy Secretary of State for the State of Vermont said "Renzello was trying to capitalize on an appearance of affiliation with the state." According to the Times. "He was clearly trading on the State of Vermont name" stated Bristow. Renzello attempted to sue the State of Vermont the suit was immediately dismissed. Renzello was forced to admit consumer fraud and his fraudulent business operations ceased.
The case appears to be heating up as Judge Murtha has set an expedited trial date of September of 2007.