Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

California Man Indicted in Las Vegas for Filing False Liens Against Federal Employees & Filing False Tax Forms

WASHINGTON - A Las Vegas federal grand jury has indicted Thanh Viet Jeremy Cao, a resident of Orange County, Calif., for filing false liens against federal employees and corruptly obstructing the administration of the federal tax laws, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The court has not yet set a trial date.

According to the indictment, Cao filed 22 false liens in public records in Nevada against federal officials and employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, the Secret Service and the IRS, as well as false liens against four federal judges. According to the indictment, the false liens ranged from $25 million to $300 million.

The indictment further alleges that Cao corruptly obstructed the administration of the federal tax laws, by, among other things, filing retaliatory false liens against IRS employees, filing and attempting to file with the IRS false Forms 1099-OID (Original Issue Discount) that claimed fictitious income tax withholdings, filing and attempting to file false tax returns that claim fraudulent refunds totaling approximately $20 billion, and preparing at least five false tax returns for third parties that claimed fraudulent income tax refunds totaling in excess of $1.1 million based upon fictitious income tax withholdings.

An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Cao faces a maximum of 223 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5.75 million.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the IRS-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Christopher S. Strauss and Joseph A. Rillotta.

More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at

10-839 Tax Division