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Sandy man charged with claiming $1.5 million in false tax refunds

SANDY — A Sandy man has been accused of making fraudulent claims on his federal tax returns, claiming he was owed upward of $1.5 million in refunds.

Paul Ben Zaccardi was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City on five counts of presenting false, fictitious and fraudulent claims, and three counts of passing fictitious obligations.

In 2008, Zaccardi filed income tax returns for the years between 1996 and 2000, fraudulently seeking $1,510,251 in refunds, according to the Department of Justice.

Zaccardi is also accused of submitting "fictitious obligations" to the government that would supposedly cover his tax debt — one in 2008 claiming to be valued at $5 million and two in 2009 supposedly worth $300 million, charges state.

The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. If convicted, Zaccardi faces a maximum of 100 years in prison.