FDIC Inspector General Gaston L. Gianni, Jr. announced
that a Dallas, Texas-based tax-services firm, Tax Valuation, Inc.
(TVI), and its President and Vice President have agreed to pay
$250,000 to settle the U.S. Government's claims that TVI
fraudulently billed the FDIC for services it never performed.
TVI President S. Lewis Hill and J. Stan Blacklock, Vice
President, agreed to the settlement in lieu of a trial.
The United States' complaint alleged that around June
1991, TVI had a number of contracts with the FDIC in
Massachusetts, Texas and other locations to perform tax services
on real estate properties acquired by the FDIC after various
financial institutions failed. The tax services included conducting
municipal tax protest procedures to obtain lower assessments of
FDIC properties, which would create a savings to the FDIC on the
property taxes. Under the terms of the contracts, TVI would be
paid a contingency fee of 15 to 20 percent of the tax savings.
According to the U.S. Government's complaint, TVI billed
the FDIC on at least 360 occasions for contingency fees based on
tax reductions on FDIC properties that TVI had no role in
obtaining. The tax reductions occurred at the initiative of other
contractors or previous owners, or because municipal tax assessors
in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the state of Texas had
conducted periodic re-evaluations of the properties' market values
and lowered the taxes. The government alleged that the FDIC paid
TVI at least $154,000 for property tax reductions that TVI had not
The defendants agreed to an entry of judgment that they
had been unjustly enriched by receiving payments from the FDIC.
This case was investigated by the FDIC's Office of
Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita
Johnson of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division, District of
Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to
restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC
insures deposits at the nation's 11,547 banks and savings associations
and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by
identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed.
FDIC press releases and other documents are available on the Internet
via the World Wide Web at www.fdic.gov or through Gopher at
gopher.fdic.gov. They may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public
Information Center, 801 17th Street, N.W., Room 100, Washington, D.C.
20434 (telephone 800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).