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Ex-IRS Criminal Sleuth Sent to Prison for Tax Fraud, Theft

California CPA who stole from agency tuition aid program gets 51 months.

Nearly a decade after filing false tax returns, a former special agent and criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service was sentenced to 51 months in prison, the Justice Department announced.

Alena Aleykina, 45, was convicted in June of obstruction of justice and stealing government money from the tax agency’s tuition assistance program, after a trial in the Eastern District of California. Her sentence also includes a year of supervised release and to pay $4,000 in restitution to the IRS.

A certified public accountant with a master’s degree in business administration, Aleykina worked for the IRS from 2006-2014. She filed six false tax returns—three personal tax returns for years 2009, 2010 and 2011, and three in the names of trusts she created for years 2010 and 2011—according to evidence summarized by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman of Justice’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Alex Tse for the Northern District of California.

“On her personal tax returns, Aleykina fraudulently claimed the head of household filing status, listed false dependents, and claimed deductions for education expenses to which she was not entitled,” Justice said in a Tuesday release. “Aleykina also obtained a fraudulent legal separation decree from the California Superior Court for Yolo County so that she and her husband could claim rental real estate loss deductions to which they were not entitled.  Further, on a trust tax return, she falsely claimed to be paying wages to her mother and her sister to care for her son and father.”

As a federal employee, Aleykina abused IRS tuition assistance by falsely claiming to be taking English classes from a trust registered to her sister—classes that turned out to be fake. When criminal investigators approached Aleykina to retrieve her government laptop, the special agent lied about the location of the laptop and deleted dozens of files after the agents left, Justice said. The total loss to the government from her actions is more than $50,000.

The investigation of her case was conducted by special agents from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the IRS-Criminal Investigation division.