Restaurant Worker Sentenced to Jail for Tax Fraud

March 23, 2010


Restaurant Worker Sentenced to Jail for Tax Fraud

Contact: Kate Simmons (207) 626-8577

Portland?Attorney General Janet Mills announced that Michael Rice, age 40, of Windham, Maine, was sentenced Friday to nine months and a day in prison for aggravated forgery, theft by deception and misuse of identification. Rice applied for rent and property tax refunds online under the names of former co-workers at the Tortilla Flats Restaurant. Rice then had refunds of more than $5,000 directly deposited into his personal bank account. In addition, Rice fraudulently completed an online Maine income tax return for another individual without that person?s knowledge and then diverted the refund to his personal account.

Rice pled guilty in Cumberland County Superior Court and was sentenced by Judge Mary Gay Kennedy to two years with all but nine months and one day suspended. In addition to the prison sentence, Rice will be on probation for two years and will be required to pay back the money he stole.

Attorney General Mills commented, "Not only did Rice victimize the individual taxpayers whose identities he stole, he also stole from the honest citizens of Maine who continue to pay their taxes during hard times. My office will take strong action against anyone steals from Maine citizens by defrauding the state.?

This case was investigated by the Maine Revenue Services' Criminal Investigations Unit and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gregg D. Bernstein.