Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent Brett Rovey, B.S./M.P.A. ’09, was recognized February 27 by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, of the Southern District of Texas, at the 2014 United States Attorney’s Awards Ceremony held in Houston.

Rovey, of Chatham, received an award for his contribution to the investigation that led to the conviction of William R. Zweifel in a tax fraud case. The award is presented by the U.S. attorney’s office to recognize officers and agents in the Southern District of Texas for their outstanding performance and contribution to significant federal investigations.

A graduate of Glenwood High School, Rovey received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Illinois State University, and is currently assigned to IRS-CI’s Houston Field Office.

The U.S. attorney’s office provided the following details about the Zweifel case:

Zweifel was a tax attorney and certified public accountant who prepared false income tax returns for many of his wealthy clients by falsely claiming substantial losses from partnerships and corporations. These businesses were often represented to be active in the oil and gas industry.

Zweifel pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $250,000 restitution, even though his clients had paid or were in the process of paying all the taxes they truly owed. Zweifel voluntarily surrendered his law license and his CPA certificate. The court sentenced Zweifel to 37 months in prison.

The United States attorney’s office stated that only through Rovey’s painstaking review and analysis was Zweifel’s elaborate fraud detected and revealed. Zweifel had skillfully concealed within dozens of very complex corporate tax returns the false and substantial losses supposedly attributed to the operation of certain partnerships and corporations.

Rovey devoted countless hours, days, weeks, and months tediously dissecting dozens of complex tax returns and interviewing clients concerning their complicated financial affairs. Absent Rovey’s dedication and sacrifice, Zweifel’s calculated and comprehensive scheme would still be in operation today.