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| Crime |

Con man Thomas Quintin allegedly got out of jail free, collected $1.3 million in tax-fraud scheme

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Thomas Quintin, 62, a Denver man with a long history of felony tax fraud, is facing new scrutiny after he walked away from his sentence at a half-way house and allegedly started a scheme investigators traced to caches totaling at least $1.3 million in government money last month.

With 641 fraudulent filings identified so far, all with unique social security numbers, Quintin allegedly raked in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service by use of phony tax return companies, according to reports filed in December by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver.

Later, investigators reportedly seized about $1.2 million dispersed in nine different accounts at four different Denver-area banks, as well as large sums of cash Quintin had in a briefcase.

U.S. Attorneys Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner says charges have not yet been filed against Quinitin. And the official amount of Quintin's alleged thefts has not been released because of the ongoing investigation. For more details, see this U.S. Attorneys Office report.

According to the Denver Post, Quintin gained notoriety circa the 1990s when he stole millions in fuel taxes before fleeing to the Cayman Islands. In the end, he was found in Canada and returned to Denver, at which point he was ordered to repay $14 million.

In that scheme, the Post reported, Quintin had stolen from the I.R.S to -- get this -- repay debts owed to the I.R.S.

Then, in 2007, he received a six-year sentence for probation violations and a tax scheme similar to the latest one, albeit less lucrative; it only generated $700,000.

Quintin subsequently wound up in a Denver half-way house, but when he walked away last July, he was designated a fugitive, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. When U.S. Marshals located and arrested him three months later, they found $100,000 stashed in a briefcase in a hotel room in Centennial, which he rented under an alias. But investigators believe this amount was only a fraction of his most recent ill-gotten gains, collected at or around the time of his October 7 arrest.

Quintin reportedly used three address listings in Denver and Greenwood Village for his front companies: "Total Tax Service", "Total Tax Service, LLC" and "Total Tax Service and Accounting." None of the addresses Quintin allegedly used in the filings corresponded with an actual office.

The reports indicate that Quintin managed the scam by exploiting a tool that legitimate tax companies employ -- "Refund Anticipated Loan" programs, which allow tax companies to offer advances on customer's refunds before the I.R.S. reviews claims.

By listing social security numbers not yet registered with the I.R.S., Quintin allegedly wrote advance R.A.L. checks from his fake companies to fictitious Colorado residents. Then, he would receive reimbursement from the federal government for the checks he wrote to fake people.

Quintin pleaded guilty to escaping the half-way house (read his plea here) and is now detained in a federal prison in Englewood.

This time, if the U.S. Attorneys Office has its way, he won't be getting out of jail free.

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