(Atlanta) A man who claimed to earn over $600,000 from the Cobb Transit system on his 2005 tax return will have five years in prison to mull over the response he got from state officials. Charged by Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker with theft in relation to the fraudulent return that he filed for the 2005 tax year, Arnold Gervais pled guilty to felony theft this morning in Fulton Superior Court. He was sentenced by Judge Chris Brasher to five years imprisonment after his plea.
In announcing the sentence, Attorney General Thurbert Baker blasted Gervais for “trying to steal money needed by Georgia’s schools and hospitals for his own personal enrichment.” Baker continued that Gervais “wouldn’t have much need to worry about tax returns for the next five years.”
Gervais electronically filed a Georgia form 500 return for 2005. He attached a W-2 to his Georgia return which showed he worked for Cobb Community Transit and earned $636,501.00. Based upon this, he claimed a refund from the State of Georgia in the amount of $8,810.00. The state investigation revealed that in fact the Defendant only earned $636.50 with CCT. He worked for Cobb Transit as a bus driver for only two weeks before he was terminated, following completion of a background check. The Georgia Department of Revenue discovered the fraud before the refund was processed and therefore foiled the Defendant’s scheme before he received any refund.
Gervais has previous felony convictions for theft and identity fraud.
Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier prosecuted the case, and Investigator Michael Bailey of the Georgia Department of Revenue headed up the investigation.