‘Tax Guy Chris’ charged with collecting $849,000 from more than 100 fake accounts
ALLEN PARK — An Allen Park tax preparer was arrested today in connection with a federal criminal complaint charging him with obtaining unemployment benefits authorized by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act through more than 100 fraudulent accounts.
Christopher Dominic Niebel, 43, of Allen Park, used identity fraud to create more than 100 accounts and collect about $849,000 in unemployment benefits through the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency from March through August 2020, Acting United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin said in announcing the charges.
Niebel was the accountholder on at least 28 of the bank accounts to which the unemployment benefits were electronically transferred, Mohsin said. These benefits included regular unemployment benefits but were mostly pandemic-related unemployment benefits provided through the CARES Act.
The complaint said Niebel was known as “Tax Guy Chris” with an office in Allen Park.
A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to seek a felony indictment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hiyama. The investigation is being conducted jointly by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Michigan UIA.