FL: Another prosecution of fraudsters using student information for tax refund fraud scheme

Another criminal prosecution announced today involved tax refund fraud using information from Miami-Dade Public School students:

United States v. Luis Daniel Lopez Morales and Rigo Octavio Lopez, Case No. 15-2428-MJ-Goodman

On April 1, 2015, Luis Daniel Lopez Morales, 19, and Rigo Octavio Lopez, 25, both of North Miami, were charged by criminal complaint for their participation in a fraudulent tax refund scheme.

The complaint alleges that between January 31, 2014, and July 8, 2014, a total of 494 fraudulent income tax returns for tax year 2013 were filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) from the defendants’ home in North Miami. The fraudulent returns claimed approximately $237,092 in tax refunds.  The IRS paid out approximately $49,902 for the fraudulent returns.

On February 11, 2015, a federal search warrant was executed at the home of Lopez and Lopez Morales.  Federal Agents recovered dozens of items containing personal identifying information (“PII”), including handwritten ledgers with account and PIN numbers, handwritten documents with names and dollar amounts, numerous pre-paid debit cards, lists from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (“FLDMV”) and print-outs of “Student Information” from the Miami-Dade Public School system.  The school print-outs contained the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of current or former Miami-Dade students.  Some of the PII listed in the print-outs corresponded with fraudulent income tax returns that had been filed from the defendants’ residence.

Both Lopez and Lopez Morales admitted to law enforcement that they conspired to file fraudulent income tax returns from their home.

The complaint charges the defendants with conspiracy to use one or more access devices, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and aggravated identity theft.

 

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