Tax fraud scheme lands Braselton man on probation

ATLANTA - A Braselton man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for his role in tax fraud scheme connected to a larger web of mortgage and credit card fraud.

Timothy Bauer, 51, was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $545 in restitution. He pleaded guilty July 13 to submitting a false income tax return.

Bauer was tied by federal prosecutors to a mortgage, credit card and tax fraud scheme that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses since 2000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

But Bauer's sentence was less severe than two co-defendants punished Tuesday.

Eric Friedman, 46, of Atlanta, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison and ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, tax evasion, credit card fraud and interstate transportation of property obtained by fraud on August 23.

Tucker resident Brianne Friedman, 28, was sentenced to a year in prison for credit card fraud.

According to court documents, Eric Friedman used Bauer as a straw purchaser in buying a high-end Braselton home in 2004.

In closing on that property, prosecutors said Bauer signed a loan application that misrepresented his income and intentions to reside at that address.

The following year, Bauer sold three properties to Brianne Friedman, who signed false loan applications. Bauer received a portion of the sales proceeds from each sale, records show.

"This is yet another unfortunate example of people committing mortgage and credit card fraud to further their own selfish interests," said U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias.